As many as 3,500 military retirees are expected at Fort Hood this weekend for the 38th annual Retiree Appreciation Weekend — a two-day event beginning Friday.

“We have this every year ... in order to provide a venue for retirees to come in and take advantage of services,” said Marlean Druce, installation adjutant general. “It’s a good opportunity to get many services done at one time.”

Friday events include a retiree golf tournament at the Courses at Clear Creek at 9 a.m. and the monthly retirement ceremony at 4 p.m. at the III Corps Headquarters flag pole.

The commissary will host a “Breakfast for Dinner” meal at the Phantom Warrior Center at 7 p.m. This event is limited to the first 300 people to sign up, due to facility space.

Saturday kicks off at 8 a.m. at Club Hood with the Old Timer’s Breakfast, followed by an opening ceremony at 9 a.m. This year’s guest speaker is the Army Surgeon General Lt. Gen. Patricia Horoho.

“It’s really like a reunion for a lot them,” Druce said. Many attendees are repeat visitors. “It’s a lot of fun and our agencies really enjoy providing support.”

Throughout the two-day event a variety of free services to retirees are located throughout the installation, including immunizations, identification cards and legal services.

A health fair will also be held at the Thomas Moore Clinic on from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. The Moore Clinic is on the corner of 58th Street and 761st Tank Battalion Avenue.

Representatives from various Darnall departments will be dispensing information, conducting screenings and answering questions for Central Texas retirees and their spouses.

“We have over 180,000 retirees in our area,” said Donna Vajert, director of the Army Wellness Center at Fort Hood. “This is a great opportunity for them to get some education.”

The seasonal flu vaccine, always the biggest draw for retirees, will be available. Retirees are also encouraged to get the Tetanus and Zostavax shots, which will be available at the health fair. For the Zostavax immunization, retirees must bring a note signed by their primary care provider stating there are no contraindications for the individual to receive the vaccine. Vaccines will not be available for children of retirees attending the health fair.

Vajert said the event is also informational and retirees can take advantage of screening opportunities to check their glucose level, blood pressure, weight and dental health.

Representatives from various Darnall Medical Center clinics and departments will have booths and information on such topics as tobacco cessation; nutrition; complementary and alternative medicines; diabetes program; asthma; Team Up in your health care; women’s health, pharmacy, physical therapy, substance abuse and behavioral health.

Dental Activity will provide oral cancer screening services and have an information table set up at the health fair.

Due to the health fair, the weekend clinic will not be available on Saturday. Individuals with a sudden onset of an acute illness or injury should go to Darnall’s Emergency Department. The Weekend Acute Care Clinic will resume at Thomas Moore Health Clinic Sunday.

Contact Rose L. Thayer at or (254) 501-7463. Follow her on Twitter at KDHmilitary.

Rose L. Thayer is the military editor for the Killeen Daily Herald. She joined the paper in February 2011 as a health and military reporter. View her complete profile Here.

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