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Vandenberg celebrates retired members

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- "One of my favorite memories from when I was in the military was my first trip into San Francisco," said retired Master Chief Petty Officer Lauren Walter. "I was on the foretop, by the mast, as we were going under the Golden Gate Bridge. I was so close to it I could almost touch it," he said. 

Retired Member Appreciation Day kicked off today at the Pacific Coast Club to honor retired military members like Master Chief Walter with a continental breakfast, exhibits from base organizations and remarks by a fellow retired military leader.
More than 500 area retired members took the opportunity to gather up-to-date information about what's going on in the military as well as catch up with their brothers in arms. 

"One of the most important things about Retired Member Appreciation Day is gathering with friends that you don't get to see that often," said retired Master Sgt. Napoleon Roberson.
Retired Lt. Col. Norman McLoed said his favorite part of the day was listening to the guest speaker and finding out what's going on in the Air Force. 

Retired Lt. Gen. Donald Peterson, former Director of Plans and Assistant Deputy of Staff for Air and Space Operations at Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington D.C., was the guest speaker and hit on the importance of remembering the military's retired members with a quote by a former U.S. president. 

"A former president said that the willingness of future generations to serve in our military is directly related to how we treat those who have already served," General Peterson said. "We are all so proud of those who have served in our service," he added.
30th Space Wing vice commander Col. Teri Djuric also thanked retired members on behalf of wing as well as all active-duty Airmen. 

"Thank you for the sacrifices you made while on active duty," she said. "And thank you for the way you have continued to keep the military strong - we dedicate this day to you."
Included in today's schedule of events were briefings by finance, TriCare, dental, legal and the tax office. There was also a myriad of organizational booths for visitors to peruse and gather information from. 

"Retired Member Appreciation Day honors those who have served before us and paved the way for our success today," said Major Kim Boehm, 30th Space Wing project officer for the event. 

"This event shows retired members that Vandenberg appreciates them because they've given so much to us and also, that we have not forgotten them," said 2nd Lt. Robert Wray, 392nd Training Squadron.