The annual Fort Lee Retiree Appreciation Day observance will be a livestream-only event this year, however, veterans and their spouses can still expect the same level of informative content it has offered in the past.
Coordinators have put a fun spin on the marketing, billing the RAD as a “Watch Party” set for Sept. 25, starting at 1 p.m. The event will be livestreamed at www.facebook.com/ArmyFortLee.
“RAD planning certainly took a major hit when it was decided an in-person program would be too risky this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” observed Alexenia L. Baker, chief of the installation’s Soldier for Life Retirement Services Office. The latest version of General Order No. 1, effective Sept. 9, limits social gatherings to no more than 100 people.
“With no possibility of conducting an on-site event, we focused on doing the things we could virtually to still give our retirees the information they need and the recognition they truly deserve. We always want to celebrate and honor our retirees for the service they have given to our nation.”
RAD traditionally draws 200-400 attendees each year with many traveling great distances to attend, Baker elaborated. “It always has been an informal reunion for our retirees, and we regret this annual opportunity for them to come together cannot happen this year.”
The Watch Party’s featured speaker will be Patricia K. Cruz, Army Survivor Benefit Plan program manager, Army G-1, Arlington. Cruz is responsible for ASBP policy and serves as its representative for the DOD. She is a major in the 7457th Army Reserve Medical Battalion in Richmond, specializing in physical therapy. Among other assignments, she has served as a platoon leader and operations officer for the 4215th Army Hospital and as a liaison officer to the Soldier for Life Office, acting as a Reserve Retirement Services Policy Integrator at the Office of the Chief of Army Reserve for four years. She holds an undergraduate degree in clinical science and a M.S. in physical therapy, both from Ithaca College.
In addition, participants will hear remarks from Maj. Gen. Rodney D. Fogg, CASCOM and Fort Lee commanding general, and Col. Karin L. Watson, garrison commander. Also presenting information about initiatives, services and programs of importance to retirees will be Lt. Col. Nichelle A. Johnson, Kenner Army Health Clinic commander, and Megan Greene, FMWR marketing director.
Baker emphasized to retirees that there will be no immunizations, health screenings or in-person activities or services provided in connection with RAD this year. The RSO, however, has arranged to have tables set up in the Soldier Support Center where information materials have been placed by many of the organizations that in the past have been present at the RAD. The tables will not be staffed, but retirees are free to take any of the materials. Soldier Support Center visitors are required to wear masks and adhere to social distancing guidelines when entering the building.
For more details about the RAD, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 804-734-6973 or 734-7345.
Fort Lee, as the Home of Army Sustainment, supports the training, education and development of adaptive Army logistics professionals. Major organizations on the installation include the Defense Commissary Agency, Defense Contract Management Agency, Combined Arms Support Command, the Army Logistics University, U.S. Army Ordnance School, U.S. Army Quartermaster School and U.S. Army Transportation School. Fort Lee supports more than 90,000 Soldiers, retirees, veterans, family members and civilian employees in the local area with a regional economic impact of about $2.4 billion per year.
Fort Lee Public Affairs Office | 804.734.7451 | ArmyFortLee.PAO@mail.mil