GRAFENWOEHR, Germany -- Military retirees were honored October 14th at the United States Army Garrison (USAG) Bavaria's annual Retiree Appreciation Day on Tower Barracks held at the U.S. Army Medical Department Bavaria's (BMEDDAC) Grafenwoehr Health Clinic. More than 200 retirees and annuitants took advantage of the robust program of events and visit the many health care information stations throughout the clinic to learn about a variety of services and entitlements offered in USAG Bavaria communities and BMEDDAC health clinics.

Military retirees in attendance came from as far away as Berlin in the north, and from Garmisch in the south on the German-Austrian border. USAG Bavaria Garrison Commander Col. Lance Varney welcomed retirees as honored family members and supporters of military communities overseas who had served their country through wars both hot and cold. "Thank you for everything you do for our communities. This is your day and we are glad to have you here." said Varney to a group of retirees who were introduced to him by Grafenwoehr Health Clinic commander Lt. Col. Shannon Shaw, as he toured the clinic.

Approximately 2,500 military retirees currently fall under the BMEDDAC footprint.

Col. David Richardson, BMEDDAC Commander, was also in on site and took the opportunity to speak with retirees about health issues specific to them. "We always like to have retirees in the clinic and Retiree Appreciation Day is not only a great day for them, but for the BMEDDAC staff as well who enjoy treating the retirees every year."

"We are very pleased to do what we can to help the retiree population beyond the constraints of providing care to our active duty patients and their family members," said Richardson. "It is our privilege to honor their service and the many contributions they have made -- and are still making to our military communities across Germany and Europe."

Also in attendance to greet and speak with retirees were Brig. Gen. Tony Aguto, Commanding General for the 7th Army Training (7th ATC) accompanied by 7th ATC Command Sergeant Major Jeffrey D. Sweezer. While visiting with retirees and touring the clinic Gen. Aguto and Command Sgt. Maj. Sweezer availed themselves of the opportunity to get their yearly flu shots, as had Richardson and Varney during their visits.

During the day the Grafenwoehr health and dental clinic staffs did a robust business updating immunizations, consulting on diabetes, skin, breast and colonrectal cancer prevention, conducting blood pressure screenings, filling prescriptions, ordering eye glasses and other preventive care that is particularly associated with the retiree population. Tricare received special attention since this is the priority benefit concerning retirees and their surviving spouses.

"We are so proud and honored to serve our military retirees and we encourage all of them today to keep checking for availability of services." said Lt. Col. Shaw.

Besides medical issues, special stations throughout the clinic attended to pertinent services retirees regularly request, to include preventive medicine consultations, updates to Tricare coverage and policies, pharmacy access, Social Security issues and the opportunity to obtain a replacement DD Form 214, that all-important document required for filing benefits for spouses of retirees.

"It's great to be appreciated." said retired Lt. Col. Jenny Dietrich, who had made a 4 hour trip to Grafenwoehr from Garmisch-Partenkirchen. "Services at the Graf clinic are wonderful and to my husband and I, well, these exams are so important us each year -- for us, a big part of enjoying retirement is staying fit and healthy so we can continue to do the things we like to do."

Retiree Day organizers are reviewing the many comments, suggestions made by participants and staff to see how they can improve and looking forward to next year's event scheduled for October 2017. Retiree Appreciation Day events are now being held annually at all garrisons in USAREUR.

To learn more about the people and facilities of the U.S. Army Medical Department Activity Bavaria (BMEDDAC) and the clinics they support in Ansbach, Grafenwoehr, Hohenfels, Stuttgart and Vilseck visit the BMEDDAC website at