FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- On behalf of the Fort Jackson Retiree Council I would like to extend you a very warm welcome to this year's first combined Retiree Appreciation and Armed Forces Day Celebration.

I'm sure you will enjoy yourself and come away with a clear message that the leaders, Soldiers and civilians of Fort Jackson are very thankful for our service and committed to our continued support.

You are all members of a very special team. Service to our nation and its Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen is a common bond we all share. Your legacy of service is embodied in today's outstanding leaders and service members. Some are here at Fort Jackson and many others protect our nation and its interests around the world, most visibly, in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Those you helped train, mentor and grow allow our nation's citizens to sleep much safer and secure than they could otherwise. You should be very proud of that legacy and I know our active military service members and leaders are very grateful for your contributions. The Retiree Council is your voice at Fort Jackson. Simply put, we are here to represent and facilitate support for those who have served by ensuring their issues are considered and heard by the senior leadership.

The council will be a visible part of the activities on Friday and Saturday. You will be able to identify us by our gold nametags or Retiree Council shirts. We are very interested in your feedback of the day-to-day support you receive and this year's retiree activities.

Please take the time to say hi and let us know what you think. You can also provide feedback at the Customer Management Services booth in the Solomon Center Saturday. If you do not have the opportunity to do so, you can fill out a hard-copy Interactive Customer Evaluation (ICE) and mail it to the Plans, Analysis and Integration Office, Attn: Jim Olsen, 4356 Hardee Street, Fort Jackson, SC 29207.

You can also go online to the Fort Jackson website at, click on the ICE icon at the bottom of the homepage, click on Personnel Services category, scroll down to the Retirement Services and click on the title to submit your comments. Once again, on behalf of the Retiree Council, welcome to Fort Jackson and thanks for coming. We hope to meet you while you are here. Have a great time!