FORT CAVAZOS, Texas – The Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center provided veterans health care screening opportunities and available immunizations, resources and information from hospital staff and Fort Cavazos organizations during the 48th annual Retiree Health Fair Oct. 28 here. They also provided advance care planning sessions and Humana and Tricare information.
Retirees also received information on tobacco cessation, nutrition, complementary and alternative medicines, diabetes, asthma, women’s health, pharmacy, physical therapy, substance abuse, behavioral health, and the Veterans Administration and Robertson Blood Donor Center mobile centers were on hand to help veterans start VA care or offer blood donations.
The day started early with a retiree appreciation ceremony. Col. Garrick Cramer, CRDMAC commander, provided welcoming remarks to veterans and special guests and retired Brig. Gen. Oscar Anderson, chair, Fort Cavazos Soldier for Life Retiree Council, presenting retired Sgt. Maj. Guadalupe Lopez with the Honorary Retiree Award for the year.
“We gather here to express our deepest gratitude and admiration for the men and women who have served our country with distinction,” Cramer said. “You have spent years of service putting your lives on the line to protect our freedom and uphold the values that make our nation great. Today we come together to honor your bravery and commitment and to say thank you for your selfless contribution.”
Lopez served 26 years in the military, deployed to the Vietnam and Korean Wars and continues to serve the Central Texas area as an active member of several veteran’s organizations.
Lopez’s military service and activity to support veterans throughout Central Texas and events like the health fair helped shaped his youngest son’s character and work ethic.
“Doing whatever it takes to get the job done, whether that’s working hard and long hours, at times that you don’t want, or doing whatever it takes to get the job done that’s the way that I operate and that’s one of the things that I got from him,” Nabil Lopez said. “I live today because of veterans like my father who have sacrificed so much.”
The health fair also offers veterans that attend every year, like Fermin Cantu, infantryman and Korean War veteran, a chance to see old friends.
“I enjoy coming here and getting to see some of the veterans I haven’t seen in a while, and it’s just a good time to come and see what services are available,” Cantu said.
Veterans choose to settle in the Fort Cavazos and surrounding Central Texas communities because of the close proximity of services of the base and the VA, Mayor of the City of Killeen, Debbie Nash-King said.
“I’m very grateful every year that we celebrate with the veteran’s retiree day in October, especially here at the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center, because it’s a one-stop resource center that meets the needs of the veterans,” she said.