FORT RILEY, Kan. (WIBW) -- Fort Riley soldiers showed off some of the Army’s latest weapons and technology, including a bomb robot, Friday as they swapped war stories with veterans.
It was part of the annual Retiree Appreciation Day, held at Fort Riley’s conference center. Fort Riley showed its appreciation Friday for military retirees from all branches of service. Veterans traveled to the home of the Big Red One for the event.
"It’s a chance for the retirees to come together, talk about times and we have some young soldiers in there so they can visit with them. It’s all just to let then know that we haven’t forgotten their service to our country. We’ve got a couple of Korean War veterans in there, Vietnam veterans and many of them are now Desert Storm veterans. They’re here to enjoy a day of remembrance and also for us to thank them," said retired Command Sergeant Major Richard Young, president of the Fort Riley Military Retiree Council.
Along with a health fair that offered information and immunizations as well as blood pressure, cholesterol and vision screenings , members of the command staff were also on hand to give retirees and their family members a status update on Fort Riley.
Speakers included Brig. Gen. Donald MacWillie, Senior Commander, Col. William J. Clark, garrison commander, Col. Barry Pockrandt, Irwin Army Community Hospital commander, Maryann Bishop, Fort Riley Post Exchange Manager and Peter Howell, the Commissary Store Director.
Clark says construction on the new Irwin Army Community Hospital is on track.
"We are committed to making sure that we take care of soldiers and their families, civilians and retirees. We will find a way to get you the services that you need even though we are in a new fiscal reality," he told the crowd.
Fort Riley had $1.6 billion in infrastructure development over the past several years but Clark says with cut backs, the next six years will go to the opposite end of the spectrum with “limited military construction on Fort Riley.” The funds the installation does receive will be used to maintain existing facilities.
"As the Army moves to make some changes, we are in a very good position," he said, pointing out Fort Riley's ability to deploy forces rapidly, it new hospital, new school and other infrastructure projects.
MacWillie told the veterans: "You are our pride."
"As you come back to Fort Riley, don’t hesitate to walk into an orderly room or into a dining facility or into a gymnasium and go talk to your fellow soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines- we’ve got them all here at Fort Riley- and tell them that you’re proud of them and they’ll return it tenfold," he said.
Officials said it was a day to recognize those who helped make our military the force that it is today.
The event was hosted by the Fort Riley Directorate of Human Resources and the Retirements Services Office.
During the event, door prizes were awarded and lunch was served.