FORT HOOD — Fort Hood hosted its 44th annual Retiree Appreciation Day, that began on Friday and ended on Saturday.
The two-day event not only celebrated and honored the service and sacrifice of military retirees, but was also an opportunity to provide them with information on health services, legal assistance with wills and powers of attorney, help obtain identification cards and medical enrollment and filing for disability claims. Representatives set up at least 60 information booths to answer questions and assist retirees and their families.
Retired Army Command Sgt. Maj. Divina Bobb, the co-chair of the Fort Hood Retiree Council, said she worked with Lorraine Shannon, a Fort Hood retirement services officer, to sponsor the event and ensure retirees were welcomed. She said the event typically attracts close to 4,000 attendees throughout the day.
“Our role is to facilitate the event and our priority is to make sure the retirees know just how much we appreciate their service,” Bobb said.
Bobb said showing appreciation for retirees is about history because knowing where we came from leads to a better future.
Fort Hood garrison commander, Col. Hank Perry, addressed retirees during an opening ceremony at Club Hood.
“This is your day,” Perry said. “What a wonderful day to recognize your service, to tell you how thankful we are for you, and on behalf of our commanding general, Lt. Gen. Funk, and Command Sgt. Maj. Crosby, it is my pleasure and my honor to say the post is open to you.”
The Carl R. Darnell Army Medical Center also held a medical fair in conjunction with the appreciation day event to provide medical services and information to retirees.
The medical center commander, Col. David R. Gibson, said retirees from across Texas and even some from out of state, attend the event.
“The whole focus is on honoring those retirees, letting them know that we are here to take care of them, helping them take care of some of their requirements while they’re here, and it’s important because this year we are seeing changes in Tricare,” Gibson said.
Gibson said the hospital had more than 60 tables and services set up to meet the needs of the retirees.
For retirees like Korean War veteran Homer M. Garza and Vietnam War-era veteran Larry Morris, the appreciation day means getting to meet with old friends, familiar faces and receiving invaluable information on changes to medical care or other services provided.
The event concluded with a tour of the 1st Cavalry Division and 3rd Cavalry Regiment museums, a demonstration by the 1st Cavalry Division Horse Detachment and a “retiree round-up dinner” at Club Hood.