Attendee browses programs and services during the Vendor Exhibit at the Fort George G. Meade 48th annual Retiree Appreciation Day event on Oct. 27. The installation hosts this annual event to honor our retiree community and showcases diverse services and support that is offered to retirees around Fort Meade and state of Maryland. (U.S. Army photo by Public Affairs Specialist Gloriann Martin)
By Gloriann Martin, USAG Fort Meade Public Affairs
FORT MEADE, Md – Hundreds of retirees from all branches of service gathered at McGill Training Center here Oct. 27 for Fort George G. Meade’s 48th Annual Retiree Appreciation Day.
The installation hosts this annual event to honor our retiree community and showcases diverse services and support that is offered to retirees around Fort Meade and state of Maryland.
“Every year, Retiree Appreciation Day is Fort Meade’s chance to show our appreciation and celebrate you all for your committed service to our nation,” said Fort Meade Garrison Commander Col. Michael Sapp during his opening remarks. “It’s our connections with the community that make us strong. You all are a significant part of that community.”
Sapp’s intent for this event is to provide a first-class Retiree Appreciation Day event for our deserving retirees, their families within the safety and comfort of Fort Meade.
This year’s event featured a health fair, vaccine clinic, vendor exhibit, DEERS/ID card renewals, casualty and legal assistance, raffle and door prizes as well as an opportunity to hear from keynote speaker, Maryland Secretary of Veteran Affairs, Honorable Anthony Woods.
“We have a military that is going to be called upon to do challenging things at some point in the future. Your experience, seeing everyone stand up here today, makes that very clear. As much as we love to preserve peace, every once in a while, we find ourselves in very tough times,” said Woods. “I am thankful for your service, but I also call upon you to see what you can do to encourage the next generation of people to serve.”
Woods went on to describe different initiatives that the Maryland Department of Veteran Affairs is currently working on to improve quality of life for veterans including the MDVA Service and Benefits Program, PACT Act, Cemetery and Memorial Program, Maryland Veterans Trust Fund, 988 infrastructure and the Joining Forces Project.
The office is also focusing on improving employment options for military spouses, combating food and housing insecurity, encouraging health and wellness initiatives and seeking opportunities to serve alongside the civilian community. Woods took the time after his remarks to speak with many of the attendees one on one to address their specific concerns and point them in the right direction.
Retirees also heard from Kimbrough Ambulatory Care Center Commander, Col. Chris Maker, Fort Meade Human Resources Director, Wes Smith, and Fort Meade Military Personnel Division Chief, Marcus Ufeanyui. Maker spoke on KACC’s dedication to taking care of veterans and service members while Smith offered attendees a hearty welcome and Ufeanyui highlighted services available to retirees and their spouses through the Fort Meade Retirement Services Office.
This event ensures retired service members and their families are kept up to date on changes affecting their retirement rights, benefits, and privileges, while fostering goodwill between the retired and active-duty communities.
For more information about the Fort Meade Retirement Services Office, click here.
Check out the 2023 Retiree Newsletter here. In this edition:
Hear from the new Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Fort Meade Retiree Council
Notes from the Fort Meade Retirement Services Officer: Ms. Christine M. Hopke
Survivor Benefit Plan Open Season Update
Fort Meade Community News and Events, and more!