Thomas Zimmerman, public affairs officer at Carlisle Barracks, said the barracks’ annual Retiree Appreciation Day is one of the largest of its kind on the East Coast with a typical turnout of several hundred people from all branches of military service.
“Other installations do this (appreciation days) as well, but we’re unique as we’re the only active duty Army installation in Pennsylvania. … Folks came from as far away as Pittsburgh to utilize the services we have here,” he said.
“It’s just a great time for retirees and families to get updates on services and programs that are important to them that they have earned as a result of their service.”
The Carlisle Barracks will host this year’s event Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Zimmerman said the event is for both retirees and active duty personnel, regardless of their branch of service.
Most of the day’s activities, including the opening ceremony and welcome by keynote speaker Mark Overberg, director of Army Retirement Services, will be held in Bliss Hall, Carlisle Barracks’ main auditorium. Information on topics like retirement and health insurance will be available in the Root Hall gym and Reynolds Theater.
Health screenings and flu shots will also be offered, and Dunham Pharmacy will be open.
At 11:30 a.m., people who served during the Vietnam War will receive special pins during a ceremony recognizing the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.
Zimmerman said the ceremony is for “service members who served during the Vietnam era, not necessarily in Vietnam, but if you served during that era, there’s an opportunity to be recognized.”
Carlisle Barracks will also host Oktoberfest this weekend. Zimmerman said that event, which runs through Sunday at the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center, is a fall festival featuring music and carnival rides.
“It’s generally held the same weekend (as Retiree Appreciation Day),” he said. “A lot of people come for both events.”