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NEWS | Sept. 27, 2012

Local retirees gather for annual event

By Airman 1st Class Lincoln Korver Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph Public Affairs

An annual retiree appreciation day event Sept. 22 at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph attracted more than 500 retirees, nearly double last year's attendance of 277.

The event honoring retired military members, sponsored by the Randolph Retirees Activities Office, was held from 8 a.m. to noon at the Kendrick Club.

"Retiree Appreciation Day is an opportunity for active-duty military members to say 'thank you' to retirees and provide informational exhibits about things that could make their lives easier," Jon Lindgren, Randolph Retirees Activities Office director, said.

"It takes about two to three months to set up this event," he said. "We had 35 exhibitors this year, not including the 14 tables set up by the medical group."

Within the four-hour event, 266 flu shots were administered and 20 retirees received new ID cards, according to Lindgren.

Retiree Appreciation Day is not only something that is positive, but it is required.

"We're covered by an Air Force Instruction requiring an annual appreciation day or seminar hosted by the installation commander," Lindgren said. "The event helps promote the relationship between retirees and active-duty forces."

"Retiree Appreciation Day is open to retirees from all military services," he said. "This may be the only time they come to Randolph, so when they do, they get to make those connections, they get to see what modern-day military members are doing, and get a look at today's equipment and compare it to what they used."

It's a chance for retirees to come out and say 'I'm here' and it's a chance for the active duty who come to this event to say 'thank you' once again."

"Some people go to Retiree Appreciation Day events to get flu shots," Lindgren said. "Some people come for the camaraderie, and some of us come because we want to see what's going on today in the military."

Even though the tasks and duties of putting this event together leave those who work in the retiree office busy, they are able to keep an optimistic attitude.

"Everything we do in the office is personally rewarding," volunteer Bill Decamp, said. "We never feel like our time is being wasted while we're in here. It's our pleasure to be able to help people."

For more information about the Randolph Retirees Activities Office, call (877) 282-2441.