April 2018

April 10, 2018

Yakama Nation Signs MOA with WDVA

I am proud to announce that we have entered into a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation.

It allows your Washington Department of Veterans Affairs to extend our VA accreditation as a Veteran Service Organization to the Tribal Veterans Representative Program of the Yakama Nation.

This agreement is made possible by recent Federal rule changes that allow VA accredited agencies, such as WDVA, to extend accreditation to Tribal Veterans Representatives and Service Officers in a manner similar to the way that we accredit Service Officers in individual Counties.

I am excited about our partnership because it expands our statewide network of accredited Veteran Service Officers who can help connect veterans and their families to their earned benefits.

The Yakama Nation also recognizes the importance of this agreement because it allows their Tribal Veterans Representative to better advocate for veterans and their families by developing and representing VA disability claims as an accredited Veteran Service Officer.

Ultimately, more veterans and their families will receive their earned benefits, such a VA disability compensation, vocational rehabilitation, and survivors benefits.

I look forward to working with each of our State’s Tribes to determine whether a similar agreement would benefit their members.  If you’d like to learn more about the new Federal rules or this agreement, please contact Steven Gill, WDVA Veteran Services Administrator and Tribal Liaison, at 360-725-2235 or steveng@dva.wa.gov.

-WDVA Director, Alfie Alvarado-Ramos


Innovative New Pharmacy System Unveiled to Better Serve Residents in our State Veterans Homes

The system is called AlixaRx and it dispenses over 300 medications on-site, providing quick access to prescription drugs.  Now when a resident moves into our Veterans Home, or receives a new medication order, AlixaRx can fill the prescription within minutes.  This avoids wait times and costly use of emergency pharmacy kits or 24-hour pharmacy services.

“We are excited to implement this technology in our State Veterans Homes,” said James Bryan, WDVA Pharmacist. “The AlixaRx system will speed medication delivery to our residents while at the same time decreasing medication costs and medication waste compared to traditional drug delivery systems used in nursing homes.”


The implementation of this technology supports three of Governor Inslee’s Results Washington Goals: Healthy People, through access to good healthcare by speeding drug availability to our veterans; Sustainable Energy & a Clean Environment, by decreasing the number of wasted drug doses which must be incinerated; and Efficient, Effective, and Accountable Government, through fiscal responsibility by decreasing drug costs due to wasted medications.

AlixaRx will be integrated into our other three State Veterans Homes by the summer of 2018. This new technology allows the WDVA Pharmacy team to provide unprecedented levels of customer service to our medical teams and ultimately the veterans and families we serve.

For more information on the State Veterans Homes, visit: http://www.dva.wa.gov/veteran-homes/veterans-homes

Easter Events at Port Orchard and Spokane Veterans Homes

YOUR Washington Veterans Home in Port Orchard held their 18th Annual Easter Egg Hunt for residents, their family members and staff member's children.

All candy and prizes were donated by various volunteer groups.

Special thanks to the Washington Youth Academy - NGYCP cadets for volunteering the entire day, they were a key reason the event was such a success. The cadets hide all of the eggs and lead activity centers including face painting, egg dying and the main prize table.

This year about 80 children participated and the weather was absolutely perfect for the event. 


Once again, the Spokane Veterans Home had a "hopping" good time celebrating Easter this year.

The Easter Bunny made a special appearance and had fun going room to room and seeing all our wonderful residents. We would like to thank the many volunteers that helped with hiding the eggs and taking pictures! #WeLoveOurCommunity.

Walla Walla Veterans Home: Knocking Down the Pins

Veteran Residents at the Walla Walla Veterans Home have been enjoying bowling twice a month at a local bowling alley.  Special thanks goes to Margeret Ogilvie, local Walla Walla resident for the past thirty years, for sponsoring this fun activity and keeping smiling faces on our veteran resident's faces. #WeLoveOurCommunity

Lilac Festival Princesses Visit Spokane

Spokane Veterans Home Veteran Residents received a special visit this past week from the Lilac Festival Princesses.

We would like to thank the young ladies for stopping by and providing festive cheer for our veterans. #WeLoveOurCommunity










2018 Alliance Northwest Government Contracting Training and Outreach Event at the Washington State Fair in Puyallup

Veterans Owned Businesses and veterans interested in small-businesses took advantage of a Veteran Opportunity State Showcase held during Alliance Northwest in Puyallup on March 15, 2018.

The 2018 Alliance Northwest Government Contracting Training & Outreach Event was the largest event of its kind in the Pacific NW! 

The event featured:

-Keynote speakers

-100+ booth tradeshow

-Nine quality training sessions for government contractors

-One-on-one meetings with government agency representatives and prime contractors

Release of 2018 Government Contracting Magazine, 2018-Alliance-Magazine-WEB

& More!

Businesses interested in selling in government marketplace benefited by attending this one-of-a-kind event.  In addition to the networking between government and business, attendees heard an updated forecast of opportunities as well as the latest trends in the marketplace.

View the VA and Veteran Buyer Panel Powerpoint at: http://alliancenorthwest.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/2.-VA-and-Veteran-Buyer-Panel.pdf​


VA and U.S. Digital Service Launch New Web Tool to Help Veterans Track their Benefits Appeals

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the U.S Digital Service announced their launch of an improved Appeals Status tool to increase transparency and enable Veterans to track the progress of their benefits claims appeals.

“It’s important that our Veterans have the opportunity to track their appeals process in a timely and efficient manner,” said VA Secretary David Shulkin. “For the first time ever, Veterans can see their place on the Board of Veterans’ Appeals’ docket, including the number of appeals that are ahead of them.”

The tool, which went live March 21 on VA’s Vets.gov website, will allow Veterans to access detailed information about the status of their benefits appeals and will include alerts about needed actions, as well as estimates of how long each step of the process takes.

Some Veterans who have previewed the new tool said it had given them hope and helped them understand that the process might take longer than expected.

Wenatchee - Farmer Veterans Coalition SPLASH Event - April 19 - Register Now

Veterans and people in the agricultural industry are invited to the Washington State Chapter of the Farmer Veterans Coalition SPLASH event on April 19th at the Chelan County Fair Grounds. The SPLASH event marks the creation of a statewide network to support veterans already in agriculture and veterans interested in pursuing a career in agriculture.

The SPLASH event includes a series of speakers from Farmer Veterans Coalition National Executive Director Michael O’Gorman, to a panel of farmer veterans who received a Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund grant. The Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund is the largest grant program in the country that provides direct assistance to veterans in agriculture and has awarded more than $1 million since it was established in 2011.

“I am excited for the Farmer Veteran Coalition’s work to begin in Washington State,” said Lourdes “Alfie” Alvarado-Ramos director of the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs.  “With over 112,000 veterans living in rural parts of our State, these partnerships will help veterans get connected to careers in agriculture.”

The Washington State Chapter of the Farmer Veterans Coalition includes members from the Washington State Department of Agriculture, Washington State Conservation Commission, the Spokane Conservation District Vets on the Farm, the Washington State Microenterprise Association, Vets CAFÉ, the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs, Growing Veterans, Patriot Shellfish Farmers and many others.

Sign up today and join us in Wenatchee to support veterans and our agricultural communities on April 19th from 5:30pm to 10:30pm at the Chelan County Fairground. https://fvcwaplash.eventbrite.com

For more information about the FVC visit www.farmvetco.org

For more information about WDVA visit www.dva.wa.gov/program/veterans-farm-orting

For more information about the WSDA Veterans programs visit https://agr.wa.gov/aginwa/veterans/default.aspx


WDVA Surprises Seahawks Staff Member with Outstanding Service to Veterans Award

Washington Department of Veterans Affairs joined Governor's Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee Members to honor the Seattle Seahawks Community Development Manager, Armando Mejia, for his continuous support of veterans.  Mejia received a 2017 VAAC Outstanding Service to Veterans Award but wasVAAC Outstanding Service to Veterans Award - Seattle Seahawks Armando Mejia unable to attend the Auburn Veterans Day Award Luncheon so WDVA and VAAC members surprised him at his office at the Seahawks VMAC Training Facility in Renton, WA. #WeLoveOurCommunity


National Coalition for Homeless Veterans Update

NCHV Welcomes Three New Directors to Board including WDVA's Cat Nichols

The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, the only national organization solely focused on ending veteran homelessness, has selected three new members of its Board of Directors, adding leaders from the Virginia Department of Veterans Services, Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs, and Volunteers of America of Florida.

Matthew Leslie, Cathrene “Cat” Nichols, and Janet Stringfellow will be joining the nonprofit’s board. Leslie is the Director of Housing Development for the Virginia Department of Veterans Services and was a key player in Virginia declaring a statewide functional end to veteran homelessness on Veterans Day 2015. Leslie has also worked in the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, and holds an MSW degree from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Nichols is a U.S. Army Veteran and the Eastern Washington Strategic Operations Manager for Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs. She is the administrator of WDVA’s Eastern Washington Regional Veterans Service Center in Spokane, and also serves as the Spokane County Veterans Services Director and Bureau of Justice Grant Manager. Nichols’ background includes managing the local Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (HVRP), as well as a number of other programs to prevent and end veteran homelessness. READ MORE at NCHV.ORG


Property Tax Exemption for Senior Citizens and Disabled Persons

Property Tax Exemption Program  

Program qualifications

To qualify for this program, an applicant must have owned and occupied the residence by December 31 in the year before the property tax is due.  In addition, the applicant must meet the age or disability requirement and have combined disposable income of $40,000 or less in the year before the tax is due.

There is no separate program specifically for veterans, however, a veteran of the armed forces of the United States entitled to and receiving compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs at a total disability rating for a service-connected disability does meet the age/disability requirement for possible relief under this program. 

To meet the ownership and residency requirements, the applicant must have owned and occupied the residence by December 31 the year before taxes are due.  Based on the information in your email, it sounds like the veteran purchased the home and moved into it during 2017.  If so, he meets the ownership and residency requirements to apply for property tax relief affecting the taxes due in 2018.

The final program requirement is income.  The applicant must have combined disposable income of $40,000 or less in the year before the tax is due, the 2017 income year in this case.

If you have any other questions about property tax relief programs available for veterans, please contact me directly at (360) 534-1410 or at peggyd@dor.wa.gov.  In the meantime, I hope this information is helpful. 

Read more

Trail of ashes: A local man’s work to restore identity to the unclaimed dead

It was three years ago that routine research introduced Valentine to more than 800 unclaimed remains sitting in a vault at Fairmount Memorial Park in northwest Spokane, adjacent to Joe Albi Stadium; and to the phrase: “unclaimed and in storage.” In all his years of genealogical practice, he’d never considered that so many remains could be completely forgotten.

“That blew my mind,” he said, seated at his dining room table one spring morning.

Now, he not only helps families reconnect with those already buried, but also with those who never were interred. Since taking that list of remains and uploading them online, he’s helped the ashes of more than a dozen people find their way home, including a local family who reconnected after a deadly house fire in the 1950s.

But it’s the remains of military members that give him the most pride when they’re laid to rest, he said. And in less than a month, he’ll be celebrating another reunification milestone.

On April 19, the ashes of more than 20 veterans he found and researched will be given a proper military burial at the Washington State Veteran’s Cemetery in Medical Lake, complete with a 21-gun salute and the folding of the flag.

READ MORE: Via Spokesman Review


Multiple Apprenticeship Job Fairs Coming to                   Camp Murray

JBLM transitioning services will be conducting multiple apprenticeship job fairs this year on Camp Murray for transitioning members, veterans, and their families to provide information and networking opportunities for those interested in technical trade employment. These jobs are living wage positions and many will result in positions making 60k or more a year once training is complete. Washington is currently one of the fastest growing states in America and there is a huge demand for technical trades and employers want to hire veterans and their family members. Those interested in learning more about apprenticeship are invited to attend the first of these job fairs on Camp Murray at Building 91 from 0900-1200 on 18 April 2018.

These events provide an opportunity to hear from and ask questions to a multitude of subject matter experts in their field on a panel, hear more about GI Bill® benefits, and to look at what industry-specific employment opportunities are available. These Apprenticeship Job Fairs partner attendees with training directors, employers, and apprenticeship coordinators from various industries in Washington State with the common goal of getting veterans employed. Hearing from various industry experts and employers can be an influential advantage for attendees.  READ MORE:


Making an Impact in the Community

Veterans Conservation Corps (VCC) Interns finished installing home electric solar systems on two houses for low-income families in March during "Solar Spring Break".  

The VCC provides opportunities for veterans to connect with nature in their own way while restoring Washington's natural resources.  Learn more by visiting the VCC website at http://www.dva.wa.gov/benefits/veterans-conservation-corps-program



Nursing Assistant Certified Port Orchard

Nursing Assistant Certified Walla Walla Part Time 60%

Registered Nurse 2 Walla Walla Part-Time 80%

Recreation and Athletic Specialist 1 On-Call Spokane S1111

More Info: Please visit Employment to see the opportunities that we have! You can also contact a recruiter at DennisL@dva.wa.gov


Recently Hired a Veteran?
Join YesVets!

After you’ve notified us that you’ve hired a veteran, we will contact you to arrange delivery of your YesVets decals, to be prominently and proudly displayed at your place of business.

Thank you for your support of those who served!

Visit www.YesVets.org for more information and to signup!

**Veterans Hired through YesVets since 2016**
2459 Veterans Hired


Upcoming Events

View our WDVA Calendar to stay updated with upcoming events to attend

04/11 - WWII Washington Remembers Exhibit Grand Opening 

04/28 - Tacoma Dome Veterans Resource Fair


WDVA Web Calendar: www.dva.wa.gov/calendar

WDVA Facebook Calendar: www.facebook.com/WSDVA/Events

Learn more about the Max Impact Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Mobile Application by visiting:


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