VICENZA, Italy - The Retiree Services Center located on Caserma Ederle provides assistance to the retiree population in the Vicenza military community.What many people may not know is that the RSC consists of seven volunteers - five permanent and two backups - and the Retirement Services Officer Chris Gentz, who oversees the center and works at the Garrison S-1.They are all U.S. Army retirees with approximately 170 years of experience in the military, which does not include all the years accumulated as Department of Defense Civilians for some volunteers.“A great majority of this experience is here in Italy,” explained Bill Murphy, retiree council president.“Generally, we assist all customers who ask for help regardless of status. This is also a chance for us to work with people and organizations on post in order to make the Vicenza military community the best place to live and work. We are proud to live up to the Army retiree motto 'Still Serving',” he said.Murphy, who was a paratrooper, logistics officer, and Department of the Army Civilian, has volunteered at the center for four years. According to him, he enjoys helping others and giving back to the community that helped him during his time at U.S. Army Garrison Italy.“I would like to say that all of us retirees get immense satisfaction assisting others,” he added.Murphy highlighted a list of information and services that the center offers to the community, including assistance for veterans applying for VA disabilities and regulatory guidance on VA policies and regulations; plus social security, passport, pay issues, funeral arrangements, and burial honors.The RSC also serves as liaison with the Federal Benefits Unit at the Rome Embassy for application and issues with social security, government check transfers to local banks, and other issues dealing with federal benefits. It provides forms and help applying for the Survivor Benefit Plan, Dependency Indemnity Compensation, Death Gratuity, Survivors and Dependents Educational Assistance Program, and other benefits to military retirees.The RSC also provides language assistance to Italian spouses and widows/widowers who do not speak English and/or who do not have knowledge of the U.S. government policies and methods. Additionally, visiting veterans and their spouses, when they are hospitalized or who are in nursing homes; providing any type of guidance needed to refer individuals to the proper office both on and off post.Another big area of information includes assisting visitors who stop by the center with questions about living in Italy, including obtaining an Italian driver's license and how to get permission to reside in Vicenza.“Naturally, all these questions are referred to a valid source,” said Reynolds, a Vietnam veteran, who served for more than 22 years and has volunteered for more than 12 years.Reynolds' area of support consists of assisting retirees and surviving spouses who have difficulty in understanding documents received from social security and Defense Finance and Accounting Service letter tax documents. Also, explaining to the surviving spouse the importance of how filing valuable documents such as DD Form 214 (discharge document), insurance policies, investments, where is the title to the car, checkbooks, and debts that need to be paid.“Any and all income that will cease and what will continue. These documents are a Godsend and without them the spouse would be lost and the person serving as 'Surviving Benefit Officer' would have a very difficult time to assure the spouse is well taken care of,” explained Reynolds.According to him, RSC also has a very strong relationship with VFW Post 8862.“Actually all the volunteers, with the exception of a few that are in the Retiree Services Center [Monday - Friday] are members of VFW Post 8862, the biggest stand-alone post in Europe with over 2K members,” he said.“Our office offers a location for all retirees to drop by and catch up on new matters. The VFW also assists upcoming retirees in preparation of their service-connected disabilities. The service officer of the VFW Post will assist all personnel in preparation of their VA claim. We currently have in training a veteran service officer who will be a one-stop service for upcoming retirees. He should be on board January 2021,” said Reynolds.Reynolds said that the Vicenza community is a great place to retire and “all retirees give to the community hours upon hours of volunteer time.“We are a small town. We have a mayor (Garrison Commander) and he has a staff of workers that do not get paid called 'retirees' who give as much as they receive. We will always be good citizens of our little town; we are ready and willing to jump back into our uniforms for our town/community. We love our town and hope our town loves us. We are accountable and our town can count on us,” he said.The RSC is open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.** Due to COVID-19 restrictions, client assistance and interviews are by appointment only.For those interested, call 320-366 4071 or 348-516 4477 to book an appointment.