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NEWS | May 21, 2019

Retiree Appreciation Day celebrated at JBLE

By 633d ABW PAO Staff 633d Air Base Wing Public Affairs

The Fort Eustis Retirement Services Office, in conjunction with the Army and Air Force Exchange Service, held the annual Retiree Appreciation Day at the Fort Eustis Main Exchange, May 18.

The Joint Base Langley-Eustis Retiree Appreciation Day is the event specifically for all military retirees, and their families, living in the Hampton Roads area.

“We put on the event and have different organizations come down from our VA,” said Kareem Franklin, Fort Eustis retirement services officer. “Businesses in the local area that cater to the local retirees will come out and have information for them. If they have questions for an organization that they’ve been trying to talk with and can’t get ahold of, we have a representative there with a desk set up, with brochures full of information where they can actually talk to a representative at that time.”

Col. Jennifer Walkawicz, commander, 733d Mission Support Group, provided the opening remarks to the event.

”I want to thank you for your service because you paved the way to allow us to continue to serve,” she said. “Most of you continue to serve in your communities today. Without you, my generation of Soldiers, and the next generation that followed, would not have benefitted, and would not know some of the freedoms we have today. So, thank you. Thank you for your service.”

Franklin said he hopes this event will resolve some common retiree issues.

“The main thing I would say is once retirees get older they don’t have a representative or somebody in their favor to help them with whatever it is they may have, say benefits or pay or something like that,” Franklin said.

Franklin said the Retiree Appreciation Day also presented an opportunity for the JBLE Retiree Council to better understand issues their former comrades-in-arms are facing.

“We want to let them know that there’s a lot in their favor here working for them,” he said. “We have the council that gets everyone to talk about retiree issues in the local area and then try to resolve them.”

Franklin said this event brings questions to the council, which they can use to get back to someone if there is an ongoing issue.

The JBLE Retiree Council meets every third Wednesday each month in the Army Community Service conference room, building 650, 8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. For more information, please call (757) 878-5884 or (757) 218-7118.