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FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — Fort Leonard Wood is set to host its Retiree Appreciation Days celebration Friday and Saturday at various locations around the installation.

According to Noah Stevens, Fort Leonard Wood’s Retirement Services officer, events this year will include a bus tour of the post, a retirement ceremony, lunch in an Army dining facility, a retiree dinner and a town hall. The goal is to provide retirees and their families with information, services and assistance concerning their personal affairs, benefits, privileges, rights and entitlements — and to remind them they are still valued members of the team here.

“It keeps all the retirees abreast of all their benefits, rights and privileges; it keeps us connected with the retired community; and it lets them know we appreciate their service,” Stevens said.

The retirees love attending the event, Stevens said.

“We even have a couple that comes in from Michigan,” he said. “They really love the camaraderie of seeing old friends.”

One popular change made to the schedule in the past few years was moving the dinner from Pershing Community Center to the John B. Mahaffey Museum Complex, Stevens said.

“The retirees like to go in and see things from their history,” he said. “They can go in the museum and say, ‘Oh, I remember that!’”

The following is this year’s schedule of events:

Friday

  • 12:30 to 2 p.m. bus tour of the installation (the bus departs from the Nutter Field House parking lot)
  • 3 to 5 p.m. retirement ceremony at Lincoln Hall Auditorium
  • 6 to 9 p.m. retiree dinner in the Engineer Regimental Room at the John B. Mahaffey Museum Complex

Saturday

  • 6 to 8:30 a.m. breakfast at the Masonic Lodge No. 375, 1409 Ousley Rd., in Waynesville (free for retirees and their dependents)
  • 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. registration at Abrams Theater
  • 8:30 to 9 a.m. guest speaker at Abrams Theater, retired Command Sgt. Maj. William Lewis, introduced by U.S. Army Garrison Fort Leonard Wood Commander Col. Anthony Pollio
  • 9 to 10 a.m. town hall and question-and-answer session at Abrams Theater
  • 10 a.m. to noon ID card facility open for ID card issues and updates, Bldg. 470, Room 2105
  • 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. service and information booths open at Nutter Field House
  • 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. dining facility lunch in Bldg. 6111 (bus transportation from Nutter Field House provided)
  • 1 p.m. door prize giveaway at Nutter Field House.

Stevens, a retiree himself, called the event important.

“I’m glad the Army does it every year to recognize the retired service members,” he said. “We made sure this year we changed the verbiage from retired Soldiers to retired service members because everybody can join — all services come to our event.”

For more information on Retiree Appreciation Days here, call 573.596.0947.

(Editor's note: Angi Betran, Fort Leonard Wood Public Affairs Office, contributed to this article.)