Joint Base Lewis-McChord hosts joint Retiree Appreciation Day
Story by Army Staff Sgt. Teresa L. Adams
In years past, Army and Air Force retirees attended separate Retiree Appreciation days. Now that Fort Lewis and McChord Air Force Base are combined, the event is a joint effort and is open to retirees from each branch of military service.
“This provides a lot of information to augment what the Navy gave me upon retirement,” said retired Navy Commander and native of Renton, Wash., Andrew J. Peck. “It was so organized and done on a much larger scale.”
Joint Base Lewis-McChord sponsored its first joint Army and Air Force Retiree Appreciation Day and Madigan Health Fair at McChord Air Field, May 20.
Services provided included health screening, assistance with Veteran and Department of Defense compensations, legal assistance and many other Army and Air Force programs.
The JBLM Retirement Services Office worked with Madigan Army Healthcare System to combine the 2011 Health Fair with the annual Retiree Appreciation Day. Retirees and their families were able to receive physical exams during the health screening portion of the event.
“Last year we had a retiree that received a carotid artery scan and was immediately rushed to Madigan Hospital and received a life-saving surgery the next day,” said Kathi Proctor, assistant officer, Retirement Services Office.
A volunteer for the Madigan Health Fair at the pediatrics booth fully supports retirees taking advantage of the health care and post retirement services provided.
“We need to do this more than once a year,” said licensed practical nurse Sherry G. Smith, employed by the Pediatric Clinic at Madigan Healthcare System. “This shows that we appreciate all the work that has been done. Freedom isn’t free.”
The guest speaker was a retiree who continues to make a concerted effort to ensure that those who have served are taken care of.
“One of the aspects of Retirement Appreciation Day that gives our retirement community the greatest peace of mind is the access to health screening and health care information,” said retired Army Maj. Gen. James M. Collins who is currently the Wash. civilian aide to the Secretary of the Army.
Retirees and family members in the Pacific Northwest can remain content in the knowledge that JBLM is providing continuous care to those who have selflessly placed their nation’s needs above their own.
For more information about retiree services, contact Alex Silva at the JBLM Retirement Services Office at 253-966-5884.