Retiree agency opens new office in Naples
August 18, 2005
NAPLES, Italy — After 23 years, the U.S. Military Retiree Association of Southern Italy finally has a home.
The association, which has been in existence for more than two decades, provides an array of services, from gaining shopping privileges at the commissary and exchange, to medical care and legal aid.
On Wednesday, association and base leaders at Naval Support Activity Naples cut the ribbon leading to new office space where volunteers now can come to work, and retirees or families can come to do business.
The office, at the Fleet and Family Support Center at the Gricignano support site, serves roughly 650 retirees and family members in the southern Italy region.
The need for an office has been a long time coming, and something in high demand, said Navy Capt. Floyd Hehe, commander of NSA Naples.
Area retirees are a “vibrant and active group, not ready to check out yet,” Hehe said as one reason for the office.
Until now, Wylie Miller, association president, and other volunteers have been running the agency from their homes.
Dick Fitzpatrick, a retired chief petty officer, was the first to sign up Wednesday to volunteer his time.
“My life was good, and it all started with the United States Navy,” said Fitzpatrick, a sailor for 20 years, who then worked for an insurance company for another 20, and now works at a Naples-based H&R Block franchise near the base. “[My office] is close by and when I don’t have a full calendar, I don’t mind donating eight to 10 hours a week to help out.”
Retired Air Force Master Sgt. Mike Setaro, the office director, said because the office is manned only by volunteers, office hours will be 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Information is available on the association’s Web site at: usmra-si.tripod.com, and soon it will have an e-mail account. That address is email@example.com.