Military retirees honored for their sacrifice and service
June 26, 2009
- Retiree Appreciaiton Day
The men and women walking throughout the rooms at the Commons at Fort McPherson Commons presented a living tapestry of military service.
The youngest was 39 years old. The oldest was 92. Consisting of different ethnicities, genders and creeds, they represented the diversity of the nation they served. And, as they were reminded of throughout the day, they also stood as a testament to their country's strength.
If there was one theme that these Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Airmen and Coast Guardsmen took away from the 34th annual Fort McPherson and Fort Gillem Retiree Appreciation Day June 20, it was that the community values the sacrifices they and their Families have made in the defense of the United States.
"You have given your lives in service to this country, and we want to make sure that we honor that," said retired Coast Guard Capt. Warren Schneeweis, director of the benefits information department for the Military Officers Association of America. "We will continue to do everything we can to make sure that you receive the care you deserve."
The day started with opening remarks from U.S. Army Garrison Commander Col. Deborah Grays. After briefing the retirees on upcoming changes that the Base Realignment and Closure will bring to the community, Grays held a question-and-answer session to address concerns. "I promise you that we will keep you informed of all changes because I know that you will have the maximum amount of time to make whatever decisions you need to make."
Emphasizing military tradition and values with her remarks, Grays spoke to the retirees about the respect that they have earned from their military brethren through their service.
"I want you to know that we will do everything in our power to serve this community to the best of our ability," she said.
True to her words, retirees were able to take advantage of services, such as health care screenings, financial consultation, vehicle registration and Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System registration. Participants also received briefings from representatives of the Defense Financial and Accounting Service, the Georgia National Cemetery, Veteran's Affairs, the Lawrence Joel U.S. Army Health Clinic and the Fort McPherson Military Retiree Council.
Additionally, representatives from the Army Air Force Exchange Service, the commissary and the Association of the United States Army joined forces to give a way items ranging from gift certificates to mountain bikes.
Grays ended the day with thanks for the hard work of those who put the day together, and for the retirees for continuing to remain part of the community.
"Thank you all for coming out. Thank you for your service. Thanks for all you've done."