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Retiree Appreciation Day: Health fair highlights annual event

Retirees talk with agency representatives during Fort Rucker’s 40th annual Retiree Health Fair in honor of Retiree Appreciation Day Oct. 31. (Photo by Nathan Pfau)

Retirees talk with agency representatives during Fort Rucker’s 40th annual Retiree Health Fair in honor of Retiree Appreciation Day Oct. 31. (Photo by Nathan Pfau)

Published: November 7, 2014

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (November 7, 2014) -- Local retirees were treated to a one-stop shop for their medical and health information needs during Fort Rucker’s 40th annual Retiree Health Fair in honor of Retiree Appreciation Day Oct. 31.

This year’s fair saw more than 580 attendees who had the opportunity to talk with medical professionals, have some evaluations done and even get their flu vaccinations, but more than that, it was a way for Fort Rucker to show its appreciation to retirees, said Chris Moore, retirement services officers for Fort Rucker.

“This was our opportunity to give back to the retiree population,” said Moore. “It’s something that we owe to the generations that have come and gone before us. We sometimes fail to realize the sacrifices that others have made, and a lot of times it pales in comparison to what some of our retirees have had to give up over the years.”

“The health fair is a great event for retirees and their Family members because it gives them a chance to see everything Lyster offers in one room,” added Jeffrey Atkins, licensed practical nurse and health promotion tech for Lyster Army Health Clinic. “It also gave them the opportunity to meet outside providers we may refer them to for specialty care.”

One attendee who took advantage of everything the fair had to offer was Daniel Harper, Army veteran, who said the fair made it easy to get the information he needed.

“When you reach a certain age, you have to start taking care of yourself in a way that you’re not used to. That means more doctor visits and seeing more specialists for whatever you might need,” he said. “Having everything here at one time makes that so much easier than having to run all over the place to get the information you need. This really saves a lot of time and headache.”

There were organizations and agencies from all over the Wiregrass that were able to help educate attendees on the various forms of treatments, therapies and medical needs, such as physical therapy, primary care, behavioral health, preventative medicine, nutrition care, dental care and more.

There was even an opportunity for people to get their flu vaccinations and check their body mass index, which were provided by Lyster.

Lyster had its own tables set up at the fair to help the local retirees find out what is available to them on post, said Atkins.

Janice Dickens, military family member, said she’s lived in the area for years and attends the fair as often as she can because she knows she’ll come out having learned something new.

“One thing that you can count on is change and change happens with everything,” she said. “That’s why I come out, so that I can find out if anything is different or if there is anything new I should know about.

“It’s really great that the community I live in has something like this for people my age because at this point it really is about staying informed. If you don’t know what is available to you, then how would you know what you need? I’m really glad that (Fort Rucker) sees the need and does something for us.”

Families come from all around the South to attend the fair, including Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee, and the fair sees retirees from all military branches.

After the ceremony, retirees had the chance to attend a retiree social at The Landing to talk to fellow retirees before sitting down for the Retiree Appreciation Dinner, during which Russell B. Hall, U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence deputy to the commanding general, was the guest speaker.

This article was originally published at

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