RAD honors, assists local retirees
November 1, 2012
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (November 1, 2012) -- Retirees from all over came by the hundreds to take advantage of the services and information provided by Fort Rucker during Retiree Appreciation Day Oct. 26.
The day consisted of a Health and Information Fair at the Fort Rucker Physical Fitness Facility, a salute at the post exchange, and a social hour and dinner at The Landing.
Fifty seven vendors were set up at the physical fitness facility where they showcased the different services they had to offer to retirees, according to Jeff Adkins, health promotion coordinator for Lyster Army Health Clinic.
"This is our 38th annual Retiree Health Fair and it's the biggest one we've had so far," he said. "There are vendors here for the retirees to come and see to get information on anything that they need. There are even finance companies that they can talk to."
The health fair was also an opportunity for some to get a body weight assessment or even get their flu shots.
"The main reason that I came out today was to get my flu shot, but I didn't think that this was going to be such a huge event," said Barry Coven, military retiree. "This is amazing that people like me can come out and see all of the different services that are offered on top of getting a flu shot."
Isaac McCray, who is also retired military, attended the event and had his weight assessment done while he was at the health fair.
"They did a weight assessment on me and checked my body fat mass because it's always good to see where you're at [in terms of health]," he said. "I also wanted to come because I've participated in some civilian health fair programs and I've worked with these people, and I wanted to see how everything has been maintained since I retired."
The health fair is also a reminder for a lot of retirees to maintain a healthy lifestyle and check to see what benefits are offered to them.
"This is a good thing because a lot of these retirees don't know what their benefits are," said Adkins. "For some, it's been a long time since they retired and they might have forgotten what benefits they have, or for others they might just not have access to the Internet or a military base to stay current.
"When they come to one of our events, there are people here that they can talk to and get information about whatever it is that they have questions on," he said. "We're trying to educate as much as we can, give them the information they need and hopefully make their lives better."
Although improving their quality of life through the health fair is one way to better their lives, it's not the only way, and the Army and Air Force Exchange Service showed its appreciation to retirees with its salute at the post exchange.
"As a part of the Retiree Appreciation Day weekend, the [post exchange] gave a salute to our former Soldiers by offering unique specials, coupons, gift bags and a giveaway that included 40-inch LCD TV and home theater system," said Susie Antonello, visual merchandiser for the Fort Rucker AAFES. "We also supported the Retiree Health Fair by providing information on future events at the post exchange, answering questions and handing out coupons."
Retirees make up almost 19 percent of the 12.4 million people who shop at the AAFES, according to Antonello, and the event and festivities provide an incentive for retirees to take advantage of how much they can save.
"Every time retirees choose to shop at the post exchange, they provide needed support for Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs," she said. "[We] acknowledge that connecting with our military retirees is critical in building lifelong relationships with them."