Retiree office offers assistance with VA programs

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Allanna Jones
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs
The Retiree Activities Office offers retirees, dependents and annuitants from every branch accessibility and assistance with Veteran Affairs programs.

"Things have changed in the past 30 years," said retired Master Sgt. Charlie Partin, RAO deputy director.

For example, processes and forms for identification cards, medical needs and other services are continuously changing and keep the RAO filled with customers.

The RAO is currently manned by more than 30 volunteers and has representation from the Army, Air Force and Marine Corps. A typical day for a volunteer involves answering phones and assisting retirees as they walk in, said Rita Johnson-Amaker, a retired Army master sergeant.

But the customers aren't the only ones who benefit from the office. One volunteer, retired Air Force Master Sgt. George Robinson, said volunteering allows him to "show empathy for fellow retirees."

The volunteer staff gives more than 96,000 individuals in the local area who are eligible to use the RAO services somewhere to turn when they do not know where to go or what to do.

RAO regularly sends volunteers to the Veterans Affairs Office in Jackson, Miss., to receive up-to-date training on all military forms to better assist their customers.

The RAO holds a Retiree Appreciation Day every October that is geared towards those 70 years old and older. The event provides health information, blood pressure screening, flu shots and food. This event gives retirees and their family members the most up-to-date information on a variety of topics.

For more information, visit Room 102, Sablich Center, or call 228-376-8111.