About 350 retirees attended the 2019 Annual Retiree Appreciation Day and just as many people, if not more, are expected to attend the event this year.
More than 20 agencies and vendors will offer their services to retirees June 19 during the 2021 Annual Retiree Appreciation Day at the Soldier Support Center. The 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Band will perform during the event. Static displays by Screaming Eagle Soldiers also will be on display.
The doors will open at 8:30 a.m. with the ceremony starting at 10:00 a.m., and services will be available 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
The event is an opportunity to honor those who once served the nation and who remain Soldiers for Life, said Marcus Ufeanyui, Retirement Services Officer, Fort Campbell Retirement Services Office.
Fort Campbell is committed to providing retirees and their Families with beneficial information to maintain the quality of life they deserve, he said.
“Every day since you served on active duty, you remain an important and critical member of our Army Family,” Ufeanyui said.
The Fort Campbell Retirement Services Office is responsible for the well-being of more than 69,000 retirees across Tennessee and Western Kentucky.
Representatives from multiple agencies will attend the event to serve guest’s needs and ensure they receive the benefits and entitlements they’ve earned. Supporting organizations include Women Veterans of America, Army Substance Abuse Program, Fisher House and the Tennessee State Veterans Service Office.
Ufeanyui hopes people will take advantage of the services offered.
“This is a chance to hear from the agencies themselves,” he said.
He said the health fair is usually the most popular event because retirees can receive routine vaccinations.
Sergeant First Class Russel Akers, noncommissioned officer in charge of the Blanchfield Army Community Hospital Health Fair, said the appreciation event is Fort Campbell’s way of showing retirees they’re valued, and that this year is especially important because it will help retirees reincorporate into society following COVID-19 related closures.
“We’re looking forward to showing our appreciation to our retiree population and giving them some information on their health and well-being,” Akers said.
BACH staff will administer shingles, flu and pneumococcal vaccinations as well as share information about COVID-19. They also will provide information about TRICARE, preventative medicine, wellness education, pharmaceutical, radiology, ophthalmology and optometry, nutrition, physical/occupational therapy and DENTAC services.
Attendees can speak to staff about any health concerns they have. COVID-19 vaccinations will not be available at the health fair. However, an appointment may be made to receive the COVID-19 vaccine from BACH in the future.
“The hospital staff is there to direct and send patrons in the right direction,” Ufeanyui said.
Other agencies that will be present to assist retirees include the Department of Veteran Affairs, ID CARD-Fort Campbell, and Legal Assistance-Fort Campbell.
Ufeanui said many retirees are looking forward to this year’s health fair since the event was cancelled last year because of COVID-19.
“I’m very excited, because people keep asking about it. They’re all excited,” Ufeanui said.
He said the event is important because it is a chance for retirees to access a multitude of services in one location.
“This event brings together all kinds of services such as the VA and health care providers so they can answer their questions,” he said.
Private providers such as Blue Cross Blue Shield Dental and Delta Dental will attend to answer questions as well.
Speakers will include Col. Jeremy D. Bell, Fort Campbell garrison commander; and Maj. Gen. Tommy H. Baker, interim commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs. Throughout his military career, Baker has served as a cavalry and armor officer, maintenance and logistics officer, and in various command and staff assignments within the Tennessee Army National Guard.
The opening ceremony will begin at 9:55 a.m. Guests are encouraged to arrive a few minutes early to be seated in order to comply with social distancing measures. A maximum of 150 people will be seated for the opening. Seating will be available on a first come, first served basis. If no more seats are available, attendees will be able to view a livestream of the ceremony on video monitors throughout the Soldier Support Center.
A brunch will be hosted 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at 3rd Brigade Dining Facility 6761 A Shau Valley Road. Cost is $6.25. Only cash will be accepted.