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Hundreds enjoy JBLM’s Retiree Appreciation Day

Attendees check in at the Joint Base Lewis-McChord's Retiree Appreciation Day event at Waller Hall May 27. Photo credit: Talysa Lloyd McCall, Joint Base Lewis-McChord Public Affairs

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JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD - Hundreds of armed forces retirees participated in Joint Base Lewis-McChord's Retiree Appreciation Day at Waller Hall May 27.

"We have over 100,000 retirees in the area," said Janet Lucasriley, chief of retirement services of JBLM's Directorate of Personnel and Family Readiness. "My main priority is to keep them knowledgeable of all their benefits and entitlements."

The event is coordinated by JBLM's Retirement Services Office of the Directorate of Human Resources. One of the reasons Retiree Appreciation Day attracts large attendance numbers is that it provides attendees with priority personnel services. They don't have to combat the lines of active-duty members and civilians.

Over the course of the day, attendees were able to learn about current information on retirement benefits and entitlements, legal and banking services, health assessments and available resources at JBLM for military retirees and their families.

Free dental exams, oral cancer evaluations, flu shots and medical screenings services were also available at the event.

"Events like these are important to remind retirees that they are not forgotten and there are groups and services available to support them after their military service," Lucasriley said.

Along with DPFRS, representatives from numerous organizations from Morale, Welfare and Recreation; Army and Air Force Exchange Service; the Exchange and a host of other agencies held briefings and were available to answer questions.

Many retirees look forward to the appreciation day each year for many reasons.

"I absolutely love coming to these events," said retired Sgt. Maj. Glenn Chism. Chism retired from the Army in 1996 and has been coming to the event every year. "I learn about what's new, like a one-stop shop. If someone doesn't know something they can come here and get help."

Usually an annual event, the last in-person event was in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions.

"This is the first time I've been able to do something like this," said Airman 1st Class Marcus Johnson, client system technician with 627th Communication Squadron. "I love to hear the personal stories. It's like pieces of history walking around everywhere."

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