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Sat Jan 21, 2017
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Active Retirement for Veterans: Now's Your Chance

Active Retirement for Veterans: Now's Your Chance

Source: By Perry Lockhart for LIFELines

Every day for the past three years your commute took you past the golf course, past the pool, past the marina, and next to the theater. The bowling alley was across the street from your office. On sunny days the sounds from the tennis courts at the recreation center wafted through your window as you served up another report on your trusty computer. You've daydreamed about early tee times, late lunches, afternoon tennis. You've craved to get in some fishing from your boat when the fish were biting, not just on Saturday. Sure, you spent your lunches in the gym or running the trails around base, dodging the occasional horseback rider from the stables. You had to, if you wanted to pass the physical fitness test. You spent a few Friday afternoons at the club, networking with your friends and swapping sea stories. And Wednesday afternoons you sometimes snuck out of your office to take part in the base "Free Wednesday" promotion where you were able to use one of the MWR facilities at no cost. After all, you were active duty.But now the flag has lowered on your career and you are officially retired. You've given at least 20 years to your country all over the world. You've had your share of deployments, long days, work around the clock. Now, time is yours, and you get to decide how to spend it. That 0830 tee time is yours for the asking.

You've Earned It. One of the great benefits of a military retirement is you have unlimited access to military installation facilities for the rest of your life. Your honorable service gives you the opportunity to golf, swim, run, eat, shop, and socialize in an environment to which you are accustomed. It provides you the opportunity to continue relationships and develop new ones with your active duty brethren, stay connected to military policy, and spin yarns about the old days.

Another benefit is cost. As you learned on active duty, it is cheaper to golf, play tennis, moor a boat, or shop the exchange than to do those things outside the gate. Living near a military installation provides you unlimited opportunity to save money on the business of retirement, enjoying yourself, and staying active on your time.

Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) oversee the base facilities that can provide a full slate of activity in your retirement. While the primary mission is to provide support to active duty service members and their families, you are not forgotten in your retirement. You've earned the right to enjoy base activities, and these organizations remember that. Your first stop on base after retirement should be the Retired Activities Office located on most installations. Here, you'll find information, resources and points of contact for all of your retirement needs. Volunteer retirees who want to ensure you take full advantage of your retirement privileges man the Retired Affairs Office. Personnel in the Retired Affairs Office can steer you in the right direction whenever you have a question regarding your retirement.

To help keep you connected to the military after retirement, many bases host annual Retiree Days in your honor, where you can find out what's going on around base and receive information regarding retiree activities and benefits. As a retiree, you can also take advantage of retiree discounts and priority status offered by many MWR facilities.

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