Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va. – On a clear day in late fall, a group of retirees joined the crowd gathered to witness a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
That was just one of the highlights of Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall’s 2022 Retiree Appreciation Day held Friday, Nov. 4 in Spates Community Club and Conference Center.
The base welcomed more than 100 retirees and their families and treated them to complimentary pastries and beverages.
In his opening remarks, joint base Commander Col. David Bowling said the most enjoyable part of the day was being able to meet with the retirees.
“As I look out across the audience, I can’t help but be struck by the group of people that are gathered here today,” Bowling said. “This is a small segment of the best of our country. The best of America is in this room.”
The keynote speaker for the day was Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, G-2 Lt. Gen. Laura Potter, the senior advisor to the Secretary of the Army and Chief of Staff of the Army in intelligence, counterintelligence and security.
Potter earned her commission in the Military Intelligence Corp in 1989. She holds master’s degrees from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies and the Naval War College. She speaks fluent Russian and Spanish.
As part of her keynote address, Potter talked about current threats facing America from China, Russia and the Middle East as well as new developments in intelligence and surveillance.
She thanked the retirees and their families for their service and sacrifice and talked about what this year’s theme, “Serving, Honoring, Remembering,” meant to her.
“The theme for this year’s Retiree Appreciation Day perfectly encapsulates the debt our nation owes to all of you and your families,” Potter said. “We serve you by picking up the mission where you left off and remaining connected to you through events like this. We honor you today and every day knowing that your sacrifices protected the nation in the time that you served and inspired subsequent generations to follow in your footsteps. We remember. We remember you and your fallen comrades, and although you’re no longer in uniform, you’re all still part of the service that you came from.”
Lunch was served in the dining hall and then guests were invited to take a short bus ride to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier for a public wreath laying ceremony.
Throughout the day, guests were able to browse information booths in the lobby which covered everything from AARP and legal services to the National Park Service and National Women’s History Museum. Representatives from the participating organizations answered questions and offered freebies. There were also drawings for door prizes, such as a golf bag, a cooler and gift cards.
The JBM-HH Retiree Council is looking for volunteers to serve on one of five committees – Ceremony, Communication, Legislative, Medical or Services. The full council meets quarterly, and for a minimum of three hours per quarter, interested retirees can help make a difference in the lives of their fellow retired Soldiers. For more information or to volunteer, contact the JBM-HH Retirement Services Officer Linda Hocking via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or the Retiree Council chair, Retired Lt. Col. Randy Potter at email@example.com.