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.

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Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids, and graduated from Valley Heights High School in May of 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications.After stops at KFRM and KCLY radio in Clay Center, he joined KNDY in 2002 as a board operator and play by play announcer. Derek is now responsible for the digital content of Dierking Communications, Inc. six radio stations.In 2005 Derek joined the staff of KCFX radio in Kansas City as a production coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, which airs on over 94 radio stations across 12 Midwest states and growing. In 2018 he became the Studio Coordinator at the Cumulus Kansas City broadcast center for Kansas City Chiefs Football.