Members of the Kaiserslautern Military Community gathered for Retiree Appreciation Day on Ramstein Air Base, Oct. 22.
The annual event recognizes local U.S. military retirees and ensures they stay informed about the community and retiree programs on base.
According to the Retiree Activities Office, the KMC has a thriving retiree population with approximately 4,000 individuals choosing to remain in the local area after leaving active duty.
“As retirees you mentor Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen, and Marines,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Matt Husemann, 86th Airlift Wing vice commander and guest speaker for the event. “Today is about you, the retiree, and making sure you’re taken care of.”
Following breakfast, Husemann and Col. Jason Edwards, U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz commander, led a question and answer seminar for the more than 300 attendees.
Various guest speakers then gave briefings on health care, retirement benefits, veteran services and activities.
Lynn Peterson, U.S. Army Retirement Services program manager, elaborated on all the benefits available to retirees.
“It’s our job to make sure you have the resources that you need or to point you in the right direction,” said Peterson. “We provide information about updates to medical care, Social Security benefits and survivor benefit plans.”
Coordinators encouraged everyone to ask questions and receive feedback on things directly affecting retirees. They also included face-to-face interactions with base offices like TRICARE.
After the official ceremony, retirees visited aircraft static displays, military working dog demonstrations, and engaged with Airmen and Soldiers working on base. Retirees saw how the military is continuously evolving its equipment and capabilities, while current service members received insight on what retirees experienced while they served.
Vincent Boles, retired Army veteran, was grateful to the Retiree Activities Office for putting together the event. “It’s just nice to know that we’re still appreciated,” he said.