Andersen AFB hosts Retiree Appreciation Day Published Nov. 22, 2009 By Senior Airman Shane Dunaway 36th Wing Public Affairs ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- More than 200 retirees and their families attended Team Andersen's seventh annual Retiree Appreciation Day celebration held at the Top of the Rock here Nov. 21. Brigadier Gen. Phil Ruhlman, 36th Wing commander, briefed the retirees on Andersen AFB's importance in today's fight and the capabilities the wing offers. General Ruhlman also took time to answer questions from retirees in attendance and to thank them for paving the way for today's Air Force. "This is your day," General Ruhlman said. "I am honored to be here, with my staff, [my wife] Lina and everyone here to salute you as retirees and veterans." Seventeen base agencies and organizations set up booths to inform retirees of their entitlements and give away prizes, including free games of bowling and golf from the 36th Force Support Squadron and a chance to enter to win state-of-the-art home entertainment equipment from Army Air Force Exchange Services. "It's very important to recognize our retirees and to continue honoring them for their sacrifices to our great nation," said Chief Master Sgt. (ret.) Bill Cundiff, 36th Wing retiree activities officer. Though they are no longer obligated to serve, many retirees continue to volunteer their time wherever they feel they can help. Major (ret.) David Whitford, a representative for the Air Force Retirees Council, serves as the voice for the retirees' quality of life issues within the Pacific Air Forces area of responsibility, paving the way for future retirees to follow. "You try to serve as a role model and try to help recruiting the younger force and make them interested in the Air Force," Mr. Whitford said. "At the same time, we try to take care of the older generation who has already retired. It's a combination of taking care of the whole Air Force image. I don't get any money for [volunteering], but the payback is tremendous because the things you do and do well usually come back to you." Mr. Cundiff commends all retirees who feel they can remain key contributors. "In today's world and today's armed forces, volunteerism is a way of life," Mr. Cundiff said. "Throughout their service career, [retirees] have had the opportunity to assist others in all kinds of ways in many different countries. [Volunteerism] is in their system."