Fort Riley hosts Retiree Appreciation Day
October 21, 2009
By Shandi Dix
FORT RILEY, Kan. - Retiree Appreciation Day on Oct. 16 at Riley's Conference Center was a place for retirees to visit with old friends, other retirees and even Family.
Retired Col. Hollis Logan of Topeka and retired Master Sgt. Ted and Pauline Gleason of Junction City visited at a table. Logan was married to one of Gleason's sisters.
"These two used to be stationed over at Anderson Air Force Base in Guam, where I was stationed, one that used to be called North Field Guam," Logan said. "I was flying missions in and out of Vietnam and I would stop and see them, visit them every time we'd go through."
The couple was stationed in Guam for two years.
Logan and Gleason were both members of the U.S. Air Force. Logan served from 1942 to 1975 first in the Navy and also for the Army Air Corps before serving with the Air Force. Logan served in World War II and the Korean War.
Gleason served in the military for a total of 24 years. Four of those years were with the Navy and the remainder with the Air Force.
Retired Lt. Col. Marcellus and Harriet Goff traveled from Belleville, Kan. to attend the event.
He along with Logan both serve on the Retiree Council.
Goff is a doctor and worked for one year at Irwin Army Community Hospital as an orthopedic surgeon.
"We come also because we enjoy the programs and speakers, and we get to meet nice people," Harriet said.
Goff served in the military for nearly 50 years from 1948 to 1997 through active duty, Reserve and National Guard.
Kathy Cunningham-Tucker, retirement services officer for the council, said about 300 retirees traveled from as far as South Dakota to attend the event hosted by the Fort Riley Retiree Council. A majority of the attendees were from Kansas with a handful from Nebraska.
The day began at 8:30 a.m. with a flag salute and invocation.
Retired Col. Verlyn Steinkruger, Fort Riley Retiree Council chairperson, welcomed retirees to the event.
Patricia Martony with Army and Air Force Exchange Service spoke about the new Post Exchange and the services it provides the retiree community along with other topics related to AAFES worldwide and at Fort Riley.
U.S. Navy Reserve Commander Katherine O'Neill Tracy, deputy director of benefits information with the Military Officers Association of America was the keynote speaker. She spoke about pending legislation that directly impacts military retirees, spouses and survivors.
Col. Jeff J. Johnson, Irwin Army Community Hospital commander, discussed new policies and procedures that may affect retiree's benefits at IACH and provided updated information on available resources. He also told retiree's about the plans and future construction of a new hospital.
Wayne Bolling, director of veteran services at the Kansas Commission on Veterans Affairs gave a presentation on the newly opened Kansas Veteran's Cemetery at Fort Riley and provided information on the benefits, services and procedures to pre-arranging burial.
Following the guest speakers, door prizes were given away that were donated by various organizations.
A lunch was served that included roasted turkey, roast beef, fried chicken, mashed potatoes with gravy, winter vegetable blend, green beans, salads, rolls, peach cobbler, cheesecake and German chocolate cake.
A health fair was set up with informational booths from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. that providing health screenings and information. The Clinical Support Division had stations that included Tricare, physical therapy, gynecology, dermatology, dental, pharmacy and optometry.
The chaplains also had a stress awareness and spiritual wellness display.
A county fair was held from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Organizations that had booths on-site included the Social Security Administration, North Central-Flint Hills Area Agency on Aging, Junction City and Manhattan workforce centers, KONZA Prairie Community Health Center, Junction City and Geary County Military Affairs Council, Disabled American Veterans from the state: Manhattan No. 28 and Pearl Harbor No. 16, Military Order of the Purple Heart, American Legions from Junction City and Manhattan, Red Cross, Veterans Affairs, Troops for Teachers, and Ready Army.
Tours of Fort Riley began at 1 p.m. These tours visited locations such as the new hospital site, the Warrior in Transition Battalion complex, the new Combat Aviation Brigade barracks, Camp Forsyth including the new Forsyth Neighborhood Center, the new Post Exchange, the Commissary, the 1st Infantry Division Headquarters, schools, child development centers, the Custer Hill Golf Course, Custer Hill legacy troop areas and the expansion of Marshall Army Airfield including the fire station, air field base operations, hangars, dining facility and runways.
Retirees were also invited to participate in the officers and noncommissioned officers call at 4 p.m. The day ended with a presentation of "Theatre of War" at the C.L. Hoover Opera House in Junction City.