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Hundreds of military retirees gather for Retiree Appreciation Days

FORT SILL, Okla._More than 200 military retirees gathered at Fort Sill for the post's Retiree Appreciation Days.

Rinehart Fitness Center was filled with 75 vendors Thursday morning and afternoon, providing free services to retired service members from all five branches of the military. The services included flu shots, oral cancer screenings and information on military benefits.

Organizers say for many retirees, they don't even realize all of the free services that are available to them as veterans. So, this was all about one-stop shopping.

Retired Colonel David Lively served 35 years in the U.S. Army and says he came from Arkansas to receive the free medical care.

"You know, the flu shot. The health portion because we are getting to the age where we have to watch it a little closer than we used to," Lively said.

This is the third time Lively has attended this event. He says his favorite part is the camaraderie with other retirees and being at Fort Sill again.

"We enjoy it. I joined the Army at Fort Benning, but I came here for my AIT in 1966, so it has been a lot of years. My father is retired military also," Lively said.

Retired Lieutenant Colonel Jerry Orr is a member of the Fort Sill Retiree Council. Orr says he hopes that everyone took full advantage of the vendors offered.

"That they have found answers to the questions that they have been asking. I have gotten around here, I have made many more new friendships and we all have something in common having been in the service," Orr said.

Lively, who has been retired for about eight years, says he would recommend Retiree Appreciation Days to others.

"They ought to come out. The chance to get back with the folks they served with and get a few of the benefits, the health benefits, it's a good time," Lively said.

As a part of Retiree Appreciation Days, there is a retirement ceremony that will be held Friday morning at the Polo Field at 9:00 a.m. The 77th Army band will perform at the ceremony.

Retirees are also invited to attend the 34th annual Buffalo Burger Cookout in Co-Op Park, which starts at 11:00 a.m. Saturday. The event is free and open to the public.

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