Fort Carson hosted the annual Joint Forces Retiree Appreciation Day Oct. 14 at the Mountain Post Soldier Center to provide a range of essential services for retirees and spouses at a one-stop event.
About 750 attendees visited the event to utilize legal services, medical amenities and update their ID cards.
Fort Carson Retirement Services Officer Carolyn Hill organized the ambitious event with the help of Soldiers and civilians throughout the local area in hope of providing services for as many retirees as possible.
“From the turnout and surveys received, I believe the service was over and beyond the retirees’ expectation,” said Hill. “I think Fort Carson's event stood out because of the teamwork provided by all.”
Evans Army Community Hospital and Medical Department Activity personnel led the medical service portion to provide flu vaccinations and screenings, to include oral cancer and blood pressure.
Spc. Lamar Hill, a preventive medicine specialist at EACH, helped guide over 280 attendees from their initial screenings for the flu vaccine to medics administering each shot. He also had the opportunity to interact with retirees and assist with their questions.
“I know they enjoy talking to junior enlisted and see themselves in us,” said Hill, who acknowledges serving retirees helps create an environment of giving back. “Retiree Appreciation Day is important to me because I plan on retiring myself, so it’s important for me and the retirees.”
Many retirees were thankful Fort Carson hosted the event this year and appreciated having so many specialists on hand to provide guidance face-to-face.
“There are a lot of things you can get done in one day,” said Army retiree Bob Kwiatkowski, who visited to receive his flu vaccine and find out new information. “I can ask all sorts of questions and they are so knowledgeable about the things they are presenting.”
Air Force medical personnel also came from the U.S. Air Force Academy and Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colorado, to lend their expertise and services for retirees. They performed blood pressure checks, educated attendees on proper diet, and informed attendees about the Total Hip and Knee Joint Replacement offered at the USAFA Orthopedic Clinic.
“It really is a joint endeavor for the whole market,” said Lori Burrell, population health nurse at EACH, who helped coordinate medical services at the event. “It was a good venue for us to know we are able to reach out and educate.”
About 30 Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps cadets from Fountain-Fort Carson High School in Fountain, Colorado, also volunteered to hand out health information about breast cancer, diabetes, cervical cancer and healthy eating for attendees.
“People were very upbeat and energetic to see we were giving info on upcoming changes in healthcare plans and having an active promotion of health,” said Burrell, who emphasized empowering retirees with education. “We want to get you healthy for as long as possible so you have a better quality of life.”