09/10/04 — Retiree office established on base

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Retiree office established on base

By Sam Atkins
Published in News on September 10, 2004 1:58 PM

An increase in volunteers has helped the Retiree Office at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base better serve the military retirees living on and off base, says the office's new director.

"We are going to be a very active office," said Senior Master Sgt. (retired) Elmer Bryans, the office's new director. He served 20 years in the Air Force and took over the position in June.

The office's mission is to maintain and retrieve information on retiree programs and issues related to the programs; assist the retirees with forms and information related to programs offered by the U.S. government; recruit retirees for staffing the office and other base facilities; request assistance from base facilities for local retirees; and work with the Family Support Center.

It also provides support for events like the annual Military Retirees Appreciation Day, which is scheduled for Sept. 18 at 9 a.m. at the base's Enlisted Club.

Around 120 people attended last year's event and received information from base agencies about legal matters, dental and medical clinics, Tricare insurance, the Military Officers Association of America, AARP, and received blood pressure and cholesterol screenings. These same topics will be discussed this year and the office will provide free coffee, doughnuts and lunch. For more information, call 722-1119 or e-mail elmer.bryans@seymourjohnson.af.mil.

The office was previously not open five days a week, had no board members and was struggling to find volunteers. The office is now open Monday, Tuesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wednesday from noon to 7 p.m. and Thursday from noon to 6 p.m.

It has 75 to 100 volunteers and its goal is to help keep the 8,000 to 10,000 retirees in the area informed on issues that affect them, like how to get a military identification card, what to do when a spouse dies and how to fill out paperwork. It also knows when special sales for retirees and their families are offered at the base's commissary.

The volunteers spend about four hours doing service work in other areas on base including housing, the dental clinic and the pharmacy. There is a Tricare mail order pharmacy where retirees can receive a three-month supply of medication delivered to their door and it costs one-third less.

Bryans said they are still seeking volunteers because they want the office to be open five full days a week. Volunteers are also needed for the base hospital, registration area, contracting office, library, and dental and legal office. Anyone interested should call Bryans to set up an interview.

The board members, who hold a monthly meeting, are Lt. Col. Roy Lane, Col. Roy Vick, Sue Paris, Master Sgt. J. Lindsey and Master Sgt. Alan Clayman.

The retiree office is at 1200 Wright Brothers Drive in the Family Support Center.