JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- More than 4,700 military retirees, retiring service members and family members received useful information about programs and benefits as well as important health information and screenings during the Joint Base San Antonio and Brooke Army Medical Center Military Retiree Appreciation Day Oct. 20 in the hospital's Medical Mall.

"Today is all about you," said BAMC Commander Army Brig. Gen. George Appenzeller. "This is a thank you from the best medical team in the world to all those who are out there who have served.

"We are profoundly aware that any achievements we may have made are built on the foundation of you and your families sacrifice," Appenzeller said, thanking them for their service. "You do not know the impact that you have made."

He encouraged them to take advantage of the more than 100 information tables and services provided at the annual health fair.

Retirees and their family members had direct access to services including free flu shots and other immunizations, mammograms, wellness activities and much more. There was walk-in ID card services on the lower level, as well as information tables on the first, second and third floor in the hospital.

"BAMC and the 502nd Air Base Wing goes all out for our retirees," said Maria Guerrero, chief of the Patient Experience Office and one of the main organizers of the event.

"It's about honoring our service members, retirees and family members so they know we care about them for taking care of us," Guerrero said. "The BAMC staff will continue to honor them during Retiree Appreciation Day and make it better every year.

"We always try to add something different and this year we have included a lot of hands-on care like women's wellness exams, mammograms and skin cancer screenings," Guerrero said. "Several clinics treated people on the spot or scheduled follow up appointments for new and existing patients."

90-year-old Korean War veteran, retired Army Sgt. Maj. Victor Lopez said he was very interested in finding about changes to the TRICARE dental plan. Representatives from TRICARE Information and Humana-Military were there to inform retirees of their medical benefits.

"This is the best retiree event that I've seen," Lopez said. "Every year it gets better. There's a lot of good information that applies to each and every one of us and I'm taking advantage of that."

Retirees who had an up-to-date prescription for eyeglasses were able to have their glasses ordered at the health fair. In addition, attendees could turn in any expired or unwanted medications at the BAMC pharmacy booth.

Art Mitchell, a Navy veteran, said he and his wife Judy have been coming to BAMC since 1999.
"Thank God for BAMC, we love them," Judy Mitchell said. "This is very helpful for all of us retirees. We can get all kinds of information about different things that are going on. A lot of them I didn't even know we could participate in."

84-year-old retired Army Maj. Gen. William L. Moore Jr., a frequent patient at BAMC and the Center for the Intrepid, also attended the Military Retiree Appreciation Day event. Moore was commander at BAMC from 1988-1991.

"Duty, honor, and service has been the tradition of Brooke Army Medical Center, since its inception, years ago," Moore said. "The annual health fair is a manifestation of the patient-centered focus that is characteristic of the services provided by this facility."