Honoring those who built our heritage – Team Buckley hosts Retiree Appreciation Day

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Jazmin Smith
  • 460th Space Wing Public Affairs

The strength of our nation’s defense didn’t appear overnight. The blood, sweat and even the lives of those who decided to serve their country in generations past built the foundation for the force we have today.

As these proud men and women have approached retirement, their legacy lives on.

The nation now comprises a new group of Airmen, Coast Guardsmen, Marines, Sailors and Soldiers proud to carry on the ever-evolving mission. To celebrate and show their appreciation, Team Buckley hosted Retiree Appreciation Day on August 25, 2018, at the Leadership Development Center on Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado. 

Buckley AFB is honored to have over 22,000 retirees in their area of responsibility. Although this is one day of the year, the hope is for those who have retired with honor to have left the event well-informed. Nearly 700 retirees and/or their dependents were able to attend.

The event was a huge success, said retired Lt. Col. Steven Young, Retiree Activities Office director. This year marked the most attendees since 2008. With that being said, the RAO will look into a larger venue to accommodate all the guests for future events.

RAD commenced with the opening ceremony where guests had the opportunity to witness ceremonial traditions, including the display of the POW/MIA table and the playing of the services medley. Attendees were also able to hear from a distinguished guest speaker and 460th Space Wing leadership.

“We owe you a debt of gratitude for your service,” remarked Col. Troy L. Endicott, the 460th SW commander. “The freedom we enjoy, the American way of life is not free. It is up to every generation to preserve democracy. You all did your part, and you did it well.”

Following his remarks, Endicott introduced Congressman Mike Coffman as the guest speaker.

Coffman shared the importance of treating those who served with the respect they deserve, while ensuring they receive the benefits they’re entitled to. He later added, as long as we have young people willing to serve, the nation is in good hands.

The official ceremony tapered to a close with remarks from Chief Master Sgt. Tamar Dennis, 460th SW command chief, who emphasized to the veterans that today’s generation of Airmen will continue to pave the way and carry their legacy forward.

Following the official ceremony, attendees were invited to explore various tables set up with information from approximately 35 organizations and consult with specialists directly. The Military Personnel Service was also open to process ID cards for eligible retirees.  By providing these contacts, the hope is that Team Buckley can further keep lines of communication open with the retiree community.

The event was organized by the Retiree Activities Office. The RAO serves as a resource for retirees, spouses, and widows and provides assistance related to their entitlements and benefits. Once a year, the program also aims to coordinate RAD. This expo is open to all branches of military service and features various support agencies to enable retirees to learn more on what benefits are available.

For more information, please contact the RAO at 720-847-6693 or email them at 460SW.RAO.ORG@US.AF.MIL.