Friday, December 12, 2008

VIEW FROM THE TOP >> Retirees part of our total force

By Brig. Gen. Rowayne A. Schatz, Jr.
19th Airlift Wing commander

Today, I will have the privilege of speaking to our military retirees at the Retiree Luncheon. Our retirees have served our great nation honorably and many of them continue to serve proudly in a variety of roles. They have a wealth of knowledge and experience that is invaluable to us.
Their service to our country doesnít end when they leave active duty. In fact, most military retirees transition into second careers, serving in both the private and public sectors. Even after reaching retirement age and completing a second stint of service, many retirees continue serving as volunteers on base and in the community. The nearly 60 volunteers working on the Rock volunteered over 13,500 hours last year. Whether itís taking calls informing retirees about processes and necessary paperwork needed to get things done at the Consolidated Support Center, providing support at the Medical Group pharmacy or providing assistance through the Survivor Benefit plan, retirees continue to be important Team Little Rock members. Their contributions are invaluable and todayís luncheon is our opportunity to show our appreciation to them for what they do.
Itís very important to care for our retirees, not only because of all they do for us, but because they have made great sacrifices for our nation and established a legacy we are proud to embrace and continue. Mr. John Heffernan, a volunteer, serves as our Retiree Activities director. He does a fantastic job of leading our efforts to care for and appreciate our more than 50,000 retirees across the state. His office, staffed by volunteers, serves as the interface between the active and retired communities--military retirees, surviving spouses of retired and active duty personnel and all military members preparing to retire. The dedication and enthusiasm with which he carries out his duties is indicative of the service all of our retiree volunteers provide. By continuing to serve beside us, they show how much a part of our mission, family and community they remain. They are living testaments that Air Force Core Values are attributes we will carry with us for a lifetime.
When you see our retiree volunteers, please thank them for their serviceĖpast and present.
Combat Airlift!

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