Rewarding Retirees: Appreciation Day features brunch, health screenings
November 1, 2010
- Fort Campbell holds this event annually, generally in the fall season.
- It supplements the retiree newsletter, "Army Echoes."
- This year's event was held at the Passenger Processing Center.
- The event is open to retirees from all U.S. military services.
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. -- Fort Campbell rolled out the annual "green" carpet for Retiree Appreciation Day, Oct. 30.
"The Retiree Appreciation Day is a mandated event," said Ted Faulkner, Chief Transition Center and Retirement Services officer. "There is actually a regulation that governs retirement services in the Army."
Faulkner also added, "The Army is also the only service with paid retirement officers in the Department of Defense, which is unique. We try to take really good care of our retirees."
"Every three to four months the Army puts out a newsletter called 'Army Echoes' and while that is good, it's better to have everything in one place for the retirees," said Faulkner. "So, we do that every year, normally in the fall."
Faulkner pointed to fall for being a great time for retirees to take timely advantage of BACH's Retiree Health Fair which includes not only preventive health, dietary, height/weight, blood pressure screenings, but Influenza, Shingles and Pneumonia vaccinations, as well."
This year's event was held at the Passenger Processing Center at Campbell Army Airfield from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m.
"We hold this event at the PPC because it's the biggest building on post. Last year we had over 1,100 retirees and Family members show up," said Faulkner. "That is a great thing when you can have it all in one place because it's kind of 'one stop shopping.'"
Registration began at 7 a.m. Opening ceremonies, including a performance by the Fort Campbell High School ROTC Honor Guard, began at 8 a.m.
The FCHS Rifle Team also performed off and on during the morning session. There were also numerous static displays set up from the 101st Airborne Division, manned by Soldiers who have recently returned from Iraq and Afghanistan.
The morning session featured guest speakers, Pradeep Gidwani, TRICARE North Region director, who will speak on changes in TRICARE benefits. Gidwani will be joined by Roger Thompson, Vice President of Membership and Meetings, with the Association of the United States Army.
"This year, we (held) a brunch instead of a lunch so if folks want to break away at some point during the morning to grab some breakfast or wait until lunch, we have that flexibility," said Faulkner.
"A lot of our retirees like to eat in our dining facilities," added Faulkner smiling.
Faulkner noted that "chow" had come a long way from the days of some of the retirees.
This year, 2nd Brigade Combat Team had the honor of serving visiting retirees and their Families at the Strike Dining Facility. Following chow, there was a door prize given away.
That afternoon, retirees and their Families were treated to a demonstration by the Sabalauski Air Assault School. There was also be a visit to Pratt Museum on the docket along with an opportunity for interested retirees to familiarize themselves the Engagement Skills Trainer. The EST allowed retirees and Family members a peek inside what today's Soldier goes through with a realistic simulation of modern combat using small arms.
Faulkner added the VA and the VFW were on hand during the day to answer any questions. He also stated that AAFES was on site with a "mini-market" where retiree items could be purchased, including many items from the Navy, Air Force and Marines, as well.
"It's a big day every year and we want our sister service retirees to (join us), too," Faulkner said.