Retiree Appreciation Day attendees and shoppers walk by the artwork of Unified School District 207 elementary school students — second-grader Zoe Allen, third-grader Isaac Lee, second-grader Katie Calvert, sixth-grader Doyeon Park, fifth-grader Penelope Davis and fourth-grader Chase Wallace — on display Oct. 28 at the Post Exchange. Postcards featuring the artwork, the results of a coloring contest, were handed out to retirees in goodie bags. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

Charlotte Richter | Staff Writer

Post organizations offered resources and refreshments to retirees during Retiree Appreciation Day Oct. 30 at the Post Exchange and Commissary.

Munson Army Health Center Registered Nurse Kim Bennett administers a flu shot to Connie Crabbs, joined by her husband, retired Marine Lt. Col. Ron Crabbs, who had already received his flu shot at the hospital where he works, during Retiree Appreciation Day Oct. 30 at the Post Exchange. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp


Retiree Appreciation Day is an annual event observed on the last Saturday in October. Several organizations supported Retiree Appreciation Day this year, including Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers, the Retiree Council, Veterans Affairs Eastern Kansas Health Care System and the Army and Air Force Exchange System.

The Fort Leavenworth Adjutant General’s Office provided the opportunity to convert military and dependent identification cards to retiree status, and Munson Army Health Center provided flu shots.

Louise Williams, whose husband retired after serving in the Army for 22 years, selects a swag bag with help from Marquita Herrera, visual merchandizer, during Retiree Appreciation Day Oct. 30 at the Post Exchange. The swag bags included a postcard featuring student artwork, a cosmetic bag, stress ball and more. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp


Mike Fuller, director of Human Resources, Fort Leavenworth Garrison, said Retiree Appreciation Day recognizes retirees and allows the community to show appreciation for
their service. He said there are 17,500 military retirees within 50 miles of Fort Leavenworth who are invited to enjoy the day.


Fuller said many retirees come to Retiree Appreciation Day to receive a flu shot and catch up with some of the friends they made during their service.

Munson Army Health Center Registered Nurse Kim Bennett administers a flu shot to Connie Crabbs, joined by her husband, retired Marine Lt. Col. Ron Crabbs, who had already received his flu shot at the hospital where he works, during Retiree Appreciation Day Oct. 30 at the Post Exchange. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp


Col. Garrick Kramer, commander of Munson Army Health Center and Medical Department Activity, said the timing of Retiree Appreciation Day was ideal.


“Retiree Appreciation Day this year fell on the beginning of flu season, so it’s the perfect
match to get a flu vaccine as the retirees are coming in,” Kramer said.


He praised the support from AAFES for providing the space to administer the flu shots. MAHC staff provided several hundred vaccinations during the event.


“We’re just happy to give back to the community,” Kramer said.

New to Retiree Appreciation Day this year was a coloring contest for post elementary school students. Fuller said about 100 children participated in the contest. First, second, and third place were awarded for the best drawings in two age-group categories. The
winning artwork was on display in the PX foyer, and AAFES included printed versions
of the drawings as thank you cards in swag bags for retirees.

Retiree Appreciation Day attendees and shoppers walk by the artwork of Unified School District 207 elementary school students — second-grader Zoe Allen, third-grader Isaac Lee, second-grader Katie Calvert, sixth-grader Doyeon Park, fifth-grader Penelope Davis and fourth-grader Chase Wallace — on display Oct. 28 at the Post Exchange. Postcards featuring the artwork, the results of a coloring contest, were handed out to retirees in goodie bags. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp


In the kindergarten through third-grade category, second-grader Zoe Allen from MacArthur Elementary School was awarded first place, third-grader Issac Lee from Bradley Elementary School was awarded second place, and third-grader Katie Calvert from Eisenhower Elementary School was awarded third place. In the fourth-grade through sixth- grade category, sixth-grader Doyeon Park from MacArthur was awarded first place, fifth-grader Penelope Davis from Bradley was awarded second place, and fourth-grader Chase Wallace from MacArthur was awarded third place.

First-place coloring contest winner Zoe Allen, second-grader at MacArthur Elementary School, with Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Antwone Jones. Submitted photo


“We wanted to make sure the retirees felt appreciated, so we went to the schools and let the students show their appreciation through their artwork,” Fuller said. “It’s just a way to connect the different generations, with the kids and the retirees.”


Brett Rosene, chief of the Fort Leavenworth Military Personnel Division – Adjutant General, said the event had a higher attendance rate than expected.


“It’s an opportunity to show how much we support the retiree community,” Rosene said.
“(Retirees) are a big part of this area, and we really appreciate everything that they do.”

Rosene said he recognized this type of support from the Fort Leavenworth community
during his retirement, and he said he enjoys connecting with retirees and their families.

“As retirees, we’re trained in the military, we’re trained throughout our career to take care of soldiers, take care of our people that are around us,” Rosene said. “Even though we take off our uniform and go into a new job, that’s still instilled in us. We want to take care of our soldiers and our families and when they take off the uniform, we still want to take care of them.”

Second-place coloring contest winner Penelope Davis, fifth-grader at Bradley Elementary School, with Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Antwone Jones. Submitted photo

Rosene encouraged retirees to take advantage of resources available to them. Retiree
services are accessible through the VA and through Fort Leavenworth programs, such
as the Transition Assistance Program, which aids both retirees and their dependents as
the transition from the active-duty lifestyle, and the Retiree Council, through which they
can present subjects of interest to the Fort Leavenworth Garrison.

Third-place coloring contest winner Chase Wallace, fourth-grader at MacArthur Elementary School, with Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Antwone Jones. Submitted photo
First-place coloring contest winner Doyeon Park, sixth-grader at MacArthur Elementary School, with Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Antwone Jones. Submitted photo
Second-place coloring contest winner Isaac Lee, third-grader at Bradley Elementary School, with Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Antwone Jones. Submitted photo
Third-place coloring contest winner Katie Calvert, second-grader at Eisenhower Elementary School, with Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Antwone Jones. Submitted photo
Retiree Appreciation Day attendees and shoppers exit the Post Exchange after hearing the fire alarm Oct. 28. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

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