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JBLM hosts Retiree Appreciation Event

Agencies, resources and services in one location

Retirees visit the health fair section at the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Retiree Appreciation Day. Photo Credit: JBLM Public Affairs Office

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The Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) Directorate of Personnel & Family Readiness is hosting a JBLM Retiree Appreciation Event Friday, May 18, at the American Lake Conference Center. The event kicks off at 7:30 a.m. Breakfast will be available for purchase.

Lt. Gen. Gary J. Volesky, I Corps commander, is scheduled to give opening remarks at 9 a.m. Afterward, participants will have the opportunity to attend a health fair, seek help from legal services and get a new ID card if needed.  More than 60 agencies will be available during the event, including groups for widows and Veteran Service Organizations along with the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs and the Social Security Administration. Installation and Lewis Army Museum bus tours begin at 1 p.m. and run through 4 p.m.   

"It's great to have an event that focuses on military retirees and to have so many services all in one place," said retired Col. Ron Krogh. "As a retiree, it is sometimes hard to know where to go to get information, and the longer you've been retired, the harder it is to find out what is out there for support. Even though I work as a government civilian, I know there are still some retiree benefits and services available, but I have no idea what they are or how to access them." 

For many retirees, keeping up with recent healthcare changes, such as changes to Tricare and Madigan's new health record, can be a challenge. The health fair will offer a variety of resources so retirees can get any questions answered.

The event will also be a great way for retirees to verify information received from other retirees. 

"I ... found out from another retiree that once you turn 75, you can get an ID card with an indefinite date so you don't have to worry about getting it renewed," Krogh said. "I've been asked by other retirees if they can get a will done by the military legal services like they did when they were active-duty, but I didn't know the answer. Legal services is listed as one of the services that will be available, so it will be interesting to see what is offered."

He is also looking forward to the bus tour. 

"Making a day of being on post and going to the museum or just taking a bus tour to see what has changed on Fort Lewis will be fun," he said. "Even though I work on post, I normally just go in the gate and to my office and occasionally to the hospital or to the commissary and don't take time to see much of the installation anymore. I am looking forward to this event, and I really appreciate all the effort that is put into this. I am helping to spread the word to other retirees in the area, as I'm sure there are many that would like to see what is offered."

In addition to the event May 18, you can visit military and retiree strong displays and information tables at the JBLM Armed Forces Day celebration from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, May 19.

JBLM Retiree Appreciation Event, 7:30 a.m., Friday, May 18, American Lake Conference Center, 8085 NCO Beach Rd., JBLM, free, 253.967.7166,

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