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Former soldiers learn how to stay healthy at Retirement Appreciation Day

Hundreds join in Fort Hamilton’s Retireement Appreciation Day

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Soaring achievement: Retired Commander Sergeant Major Sylvia P. Laughlin received an appreciation award on Oct. 27.
American heroes: Members of the Military Order of the Purple Heart traveled from Staten Island to the annual Retiree Apreciation Day at Fort Hamilton.
Reunion: Retired Lieutenant Colonel Robert Farkus and brigadier general Arnold Albert at the opening ceremony.
Staying alive: Military retirees and their spouses learned more about the benefits available to them at a health fair after the ceremony.

Retired soldiers who served both their country and their borough received a day of appreciation and information — and were even taught a few ancient Asian healing techniques — at Fort Hamilton’s Army Garrison on Oct. 27.

The special Retiree Appreciation Day — which more than 350 veterans attended with their families — began with a formal ceremony but quickly morphed into a show-stopping performance by the United Service Organization’s beloved singing troupe, the Liberty Bell.

Organizers of the fun-filled health and wellness fair said similar events were being held across the country. Besides dispensing information about health and dental benefits, expo staffers welcomed retirees to several massage tables as well as a station devoted to reiki healing — a Japanese practice of laying hands on different parts of the body to treat diseases.

Fort Hamilton Administrators said the special treatment these former soldiers received was long overdue.

“Every one of you has done so much for the military and so much for the nation,” Fort Hamilton garrison commander Eluyn Ginés told the crowd.

Base spokeswoman Allison Kohler said the event was necessary to raise army retirees awareness about the entitlements the government guarantees them.

“They put in years toward a career in the military and they have a right to stay informed about the pay and retirement that they earned,” said Kohler.

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