Fort Riley’s Annual Retiree Appreciation Day Set For October 12


Military retirees of all services, and their spouses, widows or widowers are invited to Fort Riley’s annual Retiree Appreciation Day on Saturday, Oct. 12, at Riley’s Community Center, 446 Seitz Avenue. Doors open at 7:30 a.m. and the program will begin at 8:30.

Opening speakers include Col. Thomas O’Connor, 1st Infantry Division Deputy Commanding Officer for Support, Col. Stephen Shrader, Fort Riley Garrison Commander, and Col. Ted Brown, Commander, Irwin Army Community Hospital.

Guests will hear the latest information on TRICARE, veterans affairs, legislative issues, post exchange and commissary updates, Honor Flights and more.

Lunch attendees will hear from retired Air Force Colonel Kurt Carraway, currently the Executive Director of the Applied Aviation Research Center Kansas State University Polytechnic – Salina. Col. Carraway will discuss the present and future use of unmanned aircraft systems, commonly called drones, in many walks of life, including business, agriculture and education.

Those who plan to attend lunch must register by Oct. 4 by calling the Retirement Services Office at Fort Riley, 785-239-3320, or by emailing The luncheon will cost $18.

Additionally, military retirees can get their influenza shots, along with inoculations for tetanus, pneumonia and shingles, from noon to 4 p.m.

Visitors to Fort Riley who don’t have a Department of Defense ID card will need to stop by the Visitor Control Center, Exit 301 off I-70, to get a one-day pass. The Visitor Control Center opens at 8 a.m. on weekends. Passes can be obtained in advance. Under the Trusted Traveler program, DOD ID cardholders may vouch for up to seven other people in their vehicle. You can learn more about accessing Fort Riley at or by calling 785-239-2982.

Visitors to Fort Riley will want to be aware of ongoing construction on Henry Drive, which provides access to post from I-70. Traffic on Henry is reduced to one lane, controlled by a traffic signal.

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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