Story by Bryan Gatchell, Maneuver Center of Excellence, Fort Benning Public Affairs
Photos by Markeith Horace, Maneuver Center of Public Affairs
FORT BENNING, Ga. (Nov. 8, 2017) – Military retirees from the Chattahoochee Valley and surrounding region attended the annual Retiree Appreciation Day here Nov. 3 at the Benning Club.
As part of a buffet luncheon organized by the U.S. Army Garrison Fort Benning Directorate of Human Resources, 450 registered retirees, family members, widows and widowers received updated information on their retirement rights, benefits and privileges.
Verna Clemons, retirement services officer with DHR, said this was the largest participation the event had in her 12-year tenure.
“If we have like that again – over 450 that’s registered – we’re going to have to find a larger place,” said Clemons.
Col. Clinton W. Cox, the USAG Fort Benning commander, welcomed the guests to the buffet and event. Shane Ostrom, a representative from the nonprofit organization Military Officers Association of America, provided an update on services that affect retirees.
Clemons said that one of the changes retirees are likely to notice are changes to TRICARE, the health care program for active-duty and retired uniformed service members and their families. Some of the upcoming changes include regional consolidation, the replacement of TRICARE Standard and TRICARE Extra with TRICARE Select. These changes are set to occur Jan. 1, 2018. For more information on this, visit https://tricare.mil/CoveredServices/BenefitUpdates/Archives/08_28_17_TRICARE_Is_Changing.
Clemons referred to the event following the meal as a health / county fair, as several vendors were on hand to provide locally relevant information as well as health services. Vendors in attendance included the Georgia Department of Labor; Army and Air Force Exchange Services; the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation; Legal Assistance Services and Claims Division; and the Defense Commissary Agency were on hand to provide information on their services. Also on hand was Dental Activity Command and Martin Army Community Hospital to provide dental and medical services to the attendees.
In addition to this there were also more than 40 prizes given away during the event as part of a raffle.
Besides the services and raffle, Clemons said the event is an opportunity to meet again with their fellow community members.
“It’s a reunion for them,” said Clemons. “They have lots of friends that they served with at that time. They are able to see those friends, and they are able to talk about old times in the Army and on active duty.”
For more information on retirement services at Fort Benning, visit www.benning.army.mil/garrison/dhr/Contacts.html?colID=POB#Retirement. To sign up for the Echoes, the Army Retirement Services Office’s quarterly newsletter and to learn more, visit https://soldierforlife.army.mil/retirement.
Fort photos from the event, visit http://www.fortbenningphotos.com/Garrison/Human-Resources-and-Retiree-Se/2017-11-03-35th-Annual-Retiree-Appreciation-Day.