Retired Fort Drum worker gets drive-by sendoff

Drive-by retirement party

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - A surprise parade packed a Watertown street Thursday to celebrate one man's career.

There was a line of cars the length of the road, all coming to see one man: Randy Sitterly.

He’s just finished an IT career of more than three decades at Fort Drum.

“No ID,” he said. “I’m done.

Sitterly says the parade caught him by surprise.

"I never saw it coming,” he said. “It's an amazing end to an amazing career."

It was a surprise Kelli Rinard helped put together.

"We didn't want him to ride away into the sunset and think that we didn't appreciate his 34 years,” she said.

The effort left Sitterly at a loss for words.

"I'm so...I'm ... it's amazing,” he said.

A little bit of deception was needed to pull the parade off. And it came from Sitterly’s daughter Kayla Gardner.

"We told him that we were going to go look at a car and that we were going to test drive it,” she said, “and just bring it by so he could see it."

“I bought it lock, stock, and barrel,” Sitterly said. “Hook line and sinker.”

Gardner says her dad’s work ethic inspired hers.

“I’m just so proud of him,” she said, “and he’s instilled being a hard-worker in me.”

"Thirty-four years at Fort Drum has gone …” Sitterly said, snapping his fingers.

He says he’s grateful for everyone who drove by to send him off.

"They took time out for me and my family,” he said. “It means as much to me that my family got to see this than it does for me, too.”

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