By Col. Deborah B. GraysJune 17, 2010
Fort McPherson & Fort Gillem
June 19 marks the final Retiree Appreciation Day event to be held at Fort McPherson.
While this milestone marks the end of an era in providing this annual event, it does not mark an immediate end to the services we provide our military retiree community.
However, with a little more than a year until Fort McPherson closes and Fort Gillem becomes an enclave, the installation services provided to retired personnel and everyone else will undergo drastic changes in the near future.
It's more important than ever that we and our military retirees come together to share information.
Tomorrow's event is designed specifically for this purpose. Retiree Appreciation Day kicks off at 9 a.m. at The Commons at Fort McPherson.
Attendees can expect BRAC-related issues to be a major topic of discussion at the event, including information on where we currently stand and expectations for the future. We have a great lineup of speakers who will provide information on a variety of subjects of importance to our retired military personnel and their Families.
These speakers include:
Aca,!Ac Earl Roberts, who works in the Retired Pay Operations Section of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service
Aca,!Ac Margaret Helgerson, director of the Georgia National Cemetery
Aca,!Ac Retired Navy Cdr. Katherine O'Neil Tracy, deputy director of the Benefits Information Department of the Military Officers Association of America
Aca,!Ac Diane Thomas, a Veterans Affairs representative
Aca,!Ac Col. Cheryl Taylor-Whitehead, commander of the Lawrence Joel U.S. Army Health Clinic
Aca,!Ac Retired Col. Ben S. Malcom, chairman of the Fort McPherson Retiree Council Our panel of speakers won't be the only access our attendees will have to receiving information on subjects of importance to them.
Representatives from the following agencies and others are scheduled to be available at The Commons to provide information and assistance:
Aca,!Ac American Legion
Aca,!Ac Armed Forces Retirement Home
Aca,!Ac Army and Air Force Exchange Service
Aca,!Ac Army Community Service
Aca,!Ac Association of the U.S. Army
Aca,!Ac Defense Commissary Agency
Aca,!Ac Directorate of Family Morale, Welfare and Recreation, U.S. Army Garrison (USAG)
Aca,!Ac Disabled American Veterans
Aca,!Ac Georgia Department of Veterans Services
Aca,!Ac Georgia Federal-Military Retiree Coalition
Aca,!Ac Naval Air Station - Atlanta
Aca,!Ac Office of the Staff Judge Advocate, USAG
Aca,!Ac Retired Enlisted Association
Aca,!Ac Social Security Administration
Aca,!Ac U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary
Aca,!Ac Veterans of Foreign Wars Retirees also can visit the One-Stop Processing Center, Bldg. 181 at Fort McPherson, to renew their ID cards, update their DEERS registration and register their vehicles from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m., and can receive information on retired and annuity pay from 12:30 until 2 p.m.
We have been actively involved in keeping our military retirees informed, and will continue to do so through various outlets, including retiree council meetings and the Sentinel newspaper.
Tomorrow's event is one more means we're using to keep this very important segment of our military community up to date.
I welcome our military retired personnel to this very special event.
You continue to serve with pride and distinction and I can honestly say, on behalf of each member of the garrison staff, it's our privilege to serve you. U.S. Army Garrison: supporting Soldiers, Civilians, Families - active, guard, reserve and retired.