NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — The Nellis, Creech, and Nevada Test and Training Range’s annual Retiree Appreciation Day was held at the Thunderbird hangar Sept. 15.
The event offered an information fair, where 65 different vendors provided information and medical screenings to approximately 810 retirees.
It also featured a military working dog demonstration from the 99th Security Forces Squadron and musical performances by Leon C. Gilliam, formerly of “The Platters,” and Staff Sgt. Adlea Avalos, 99th Security Forces Squadron armory noncommissioned officer in charge.
Guest speakers for the event included Col. Barry Cornish, 99th Air Base Wing commander, Col. Kirsten Watkins, 99th Medical Group deputy commander, retired Chief Master Sgt. Gary Maxwell and Earl Roberts, Defense Finance and Accounting Services representative.
An eight-member planning committee worked more than five months to orchestrate the event. Members of the working group included representatives from public affairs, retiree affairs, protocol, financial management, medical treatment clinics, military personnel flight, services and others entities having significant parts to play in such events.
“Due to thorough planning, our team overcame last-minute hurdles,” said Master Sgt. Trinette Hjelseth, 99th Aerospace Medical Squadron Optometry Clinic noncommissioned officer in charge and Retiree Appreciation Day project officer. “I really appreciate how hard everyone on the committee worked, especially during those last two days before the event. That is dedication.”
“Our main reason for holding this event was to provide a way for retirees to come in and get some updated information about the services on base,” said Airman 1st Class Courtney Williams, 99th Comptroller Squadron and Retiree Appreciation Day planning committee member. “Retirees also received information on contacts off-base that can provide further assistance.”
The 99th MDG provided medical services to more than 500 retirees and dependents and 27 dental-squadron members provided 150 dental screenings. The staff reported a 20 percent increase of individuals seen from the previous year. Four members of the 99th Medical Operations Squadron Immunization Clinic provided more than 350 shots.
Many retirees said they valued the medical information and care retirees are offered at the event.
“I wasn’t really sure what to expect,” said Raymond Ford, an Air Force retiree. “I was able to see the different opportunities retirees are offered, such as medical benefits. It’s a wonderful program here. The medical information and treatment is what I looked forward to seeing.”
According to Hjelseth, more than $4,800 was generously donated from on and off-base organizations.
“It would not have been such a success without all the great support,” added Hjelseth. “I want to thank all of the organizations that contributed time and resources to this event and all the retirees who attended.”