- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 16, 2014

CHICAGO (AP) - U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk has retired from the Naval Reserve, ending a 23-year military career.

A statement from the Illinois Republican’s office says he officially retired during a ceremony Monday at the Pentagon. He had spent his entire career in military intelligence and has gone on multiple tours, including to Afghanistan.

Kirk joined the Navy Reserve when he was a congressional aide. He kept serving as he went on to hold jobs with the State Department, the World Bank and the House International Relations Committee. And he continued after his 2000 election to Congress.

In the Monday statement, Kirk said he’s “loved every day in the Navy.”

Kirk announced early last year he would wind down his military service. That announcement came nearly a year after he suffered a stroke.

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