TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)– Dozens of people gathered at Hulman Field on Saturday to celebrate the career of retired Major General L. Kip Clark, who served in the Air Force for nearly four decades.

Clark was honored by other military servicemen and women in an hour-long ceremony where he received numerous plaques and congratulations from national and state officials.

“What I found difficult was delivering a message that would help people understand how much I appreciated the time I got to spend with them in 37 years, how impressed I was with so many people that I served in the military with,” he told WTWO. “Every day, somebody would lift me up and I hope this ceremony allows them to see, or hear, my words on how much I appreciated them, how much I appreciate what they do for our state and our nation.”

Clark said he was moved by the words of others throughout the ceremony.

“When someone comes and says, ‘Hey I really enjoyed working for you or with you,’ the feeling is completely mutual. So many people inspired me day in and day out, and for them to tell me I did the same for them, it’s emotional and humbling,” he said.

Clark is a decorated airman, having received military accolades such as the Legion of Merit and the Meritorious Service Medal with one device.

His family was also honored during the ceremony, as Clark gave flowers to his wife and two daughters. He said the ceremony was just as much about them as it was about him.

“With my family, they’ve always supported me, but they aren’t always around me in this environment. Having them here with the people I got to serve so many years with was important to me, and I think it was important to them,” he said.