Quarterly town hall meeting keeps retirees informed

2 Oct 2012 | Pfc. Joshua W. Grant

In the United States the national average retirement age is 67 but many service members retire far earlier in life. As retired service members get older, they deal with some health-related issues just as regular Americans but may not get information in the same way.

Health related issues are a nagging face of old age; that’s why Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune holds quarterly town hall meetings.

The third meeting of the year, held Sept. 20, played host to many different leaders of NHCL, including Capt. Anne M. Swap the hospital’s executive officer, and command master chief Edward Moreno, to answer any questions the retirees may have.

The retirees were educated about kidney disease, the symptoms of which include high protein in the urine and high blood pressure. Kidney disease can affect many retirees.

“Most of us with the symptoms won’t recognize them,” said Paul W. O’Toole, a retired colonel and the chairman for the retiree counsel. “We’ll just think we’re getting older.”

Along with the educational part of the meeting, Swap announced the changes to the hospital due to the renovations underway. The information was important because some retirees rely on the hospital for medication or medical attention.

The hospital also offered shingles vaccines for retirees over 60 years old as well as flu shots as part of the town hall meeting.

“I enjoy these meetings, said retired Master Sgt. Patrick E. Libby. “You get excellent information, get to ask questions and find out what’s happening in the health community.”

It was Libby’s second meeting. He said the information provided about chronic kidney disease was great, but the flu shot offering was a pleasant surprise.

“If it wasn’t available today, I would have to come back another day,” said Libby.

The next town hall meeting is scheduled for December; for more information contact (910) 450-4300.