Marine Corps Base Quantico, VA --
Marine Corps Base Quantico (MCBQ) saluted retired service members within the capital area Oct. 13 by providing up-to-date resources and information on their benefits, thus keeping them connected to their total force.
The event welcomed more than 120 retired and soon-to-be retired military personnel to Barber Physical Activity Center to “invest in their whole self” and encourage retirees to receive resourceful information strengthening their mind, body and spirit.
Event organizer and retired Marine Parisa Fetherson, director of Personal and Professional Development Programs (P&PD) said the event was meant to provide reach back capabilities, preparing retired service members for the next phase of their lives.
“Choosing to put on the uniform means something,” Fetherson said. “We don’t want our retired service members to get the impression that their service was forgotten.”
Where the Military Retiree Appreciation Day was meant to build awareness of the array of benefits these service members have earned, it was also a platform for them to connect with one another.
According to Fetherson, a person who gives more than 20 years of their life in service to the nation deserves to be recognized as an integral part of the community.
“When retirees step on base they want to see the legacy they helped pioneer developing into a better future for service members,” Fetherson said.
As service members past and present connected with one another around the array of information tables at the event, they talked about their aspirations in influencing a lasting impression on the community around them.
Information tables included TRICARE, Social Security Administration, American Association of Retired Persons and MCBQ services such as legal, investment and retirement planning.
Fetherson believes too many retirees remain unaware of the full extent of their benefits on base.
Where many are aware of their ability to shop at the Marine Corps Exchange and Commissary, their benefits extend further into free counseling for personal, professional, financial and educational development.
The event brought many entities from Marine Corps Community Services (MCCS) to offer retirees information about resume building, higher education and certifications and health and wellness.
There was also a miniature job fair.
Businesses such as Starbucks and Amazon were in attendance conducting in-person interviews and accepting resumes.
Fetherson believes by including businesses that strongly support the military to these events, the success rate for employment will significantly increase.
“The military gives people the ability to retire as young as 37-years-old” Fetherson said. “However, just because someone retires from the military does not mean they are ready to retire from the work force.”
In many cases service members are looking for continued education or a second career once they retire.
According to Fetherson, this can be a daunting task for many who have been in the military for so long; however, she hopes by providing these individuals with the knowledge of the benefits they have earned the process will become significantly easier.
For future events visit the website, eventbrite.com, MCCS Quantico: Personal and Professional Development (P&PD) or call the Retirement Activities Office at 703-784-3351.