Columbus AFB honors, shows appreciation to military retirees
By Staff Sgt. Joshua Smoot, 14th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs
/ Published November 15, 2018
COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- There are more than 5,700 military retirees in a 50-mile radius of Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi, and to show appreciation for their years of service, the base hosted a Retiree Appreciation Day Nov. 9.
More than 150 retirees came out to the base, where they were treated to a day of activities, lunch and information. The day aligned with this month’s theme of military family appreciation and allowed Columbus AFB to show its gratitude for the retiree community.
“It’s important to take care of not only retirees, but any former service members because of the sacrifices they have made for our country,” said 2nd Lt. Brandon Solomon, RAD event coordinator. “They have set a pathway of courage, strength and honor that we continue to follow today as active-duty service members. They are local heroes who spent years protecting our freedoms and have earned any care we can provide to them.”
The RAD began with a base tour, which allowed retirees to see how the base looks and operates today. They were shown the Koritz Clinic – where they can receive medical care; the enlisted and officer dorms; the flight line where they got an up-close look of Columbus AFB’s aircraft; and a few more facilities on base.
Following the tour, representatives from the 14th Medical Group, Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle, the Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce and other base and local agencies set up informational booths and spoke to retirees about the benefits of their organizations and how they could assist them in the future.
A free lunch buffet immediately followed, and this was a great chance for Airmen currently serving at Columbus AFB to interact and share stories with the retirees. As everyone finished their meals, Solomon announced prize winners via a raffle. Some of the prizes included $150 in gift cards, a coffee machine and massage kits.
“The event was a way to communicate with the retiree population that they are still a part of our military family,” Solomon said. “We highlighted what we can offer to our retirees through information on our services. Additionally, we let them know we are here for them for any concerns they have in their future as retirees such as medical care changes.”
Col. William Denham, 14th Flying Training Wing vice commander, pitched one more way Columbus AFB can help the retiree population – the Columbus AFB App. Denham said the app is a great resource that can connect retirees to all sorts of things on base and highlighted the directory, which will aid in getting them the proper contact info for agencies across Columbus AFB. The app can be found on the apple and android app stores by searching “Columbus Air Force Base”.
The RAD was just one example of how Columbus AFB takes care of its family.
“The event was a success, not only because of a large crowd, but because you could tell the sense of appreciation shown for every person who came to the event,” Solomon said.