June 2018

Sixty-three Korean War Veterans Receive Ambassador of Peace Medals

Sixty-eight years after the Korean War began, Consul General Lee, of the Republic of Korea Consulate in Seattle, and I had the honor of being in a room with 63 distinguished Korean War Veterans and the opportunity to say, Thank You!

Over the years, your WDVA has been asked by the Consul General's Office to help identify Korean War Veterans who have not yet been honored by the South Korean government. We've held events in our State Veterans Homes and other locations, with the latest Ambassador for Peace Medal Ceremony taking place in Kennewick with a room filled to capacity!

We were joined by State Representative Brad Klippert and Mayor of Kennewick Don Britain, who also expressed their thanks and appreciation for the service and sacrifice of each veteran and family member in attendance.

We have all heard the Korean War referred to as the Forgotten War so it is wonderful when we have opportunities to remember these heroes and express our gratitude and appreciation. The Ambassador for Peace Medal is a commemorative medal that expresses appreciation from the Korean government to American service men and women who served in the Korean War.  Veterans eligible to receive the Ambassador of Peace Medal must have served during the Korean War from June 25, 1950 to July 27, 1953. It is also available for the veterans who participated in UN peacekeeping operations until the end of 1955. 

At the June 8 event, seven medals were awarded to surviving family members and family members receiving on behalf of their Korean War Veterans that were too ill to travel. 

To each and every Korean War Veteran, thank you for the difference you made and the legacy you have left generations of Americans and our Allies around the world…we are ALL forever in your debt. 

WDVA is working to identify additional opportunities for medal presentation ceremonies.  These opportunities will be announced through our Website, Social Media and Email Lists, so please stay connected with us!

View the Northwest Military Article for the event at http://www.northwestmilitary.com/veterans/news/2018/06/Korean-War-vets-Not-forgotten/

2018 VA Mental Health Summit

REGISTER NOW AT: https://vamhsummit.eventbrite.com

New statewide initiative empowers military spouses to keep careers on track

A first-in-the-nation initiative to help military spouses keep their careers on track is now going strong in Washington.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce found that military spouses are unemployed or            under-employed at a rate 4 times that of their civilian counterparts.

Service members are often re-assigned to new jobs in different cities, making it difficult for their spouses to keep their careers on track.

"As a spouse, I've had to reinvent myself many times, being in places where often nobody knew what to do with me as a job and I didn't know what to do with myself," said Michele Helfgott-Waters, the wife of career serviceman.

She and her husband are now at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, just one of almost a dozen military installations in our state.

Collectively, the military's the second-largest employer in Washington state and the state department of Veterans affairs says there's a lot of competition for talent in today's military.

"Of young people 18 to 24, only 1 in 8 are able to get into the military and they're bringing family members with them," said Alfie Alvarado-Ramos, the Director of the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs.

She said for spouses, it's more than just furthering their careers. Alvarado-Ramos, says it's a financial must for many military families who can't survive on a government salary alone. Story via Komo News / Photo via Northwest Military at http://komonews.com/news/local/new-statewide-initiative-empowers-military-spouses


Memorial Day at Port Orchard Veterans Home



















Spokane Veterans Home Visits Honor Flight Museum at Felts Field

Armed Forces BBQ at Walla Walla Veterans Home

The Walla Walla Veterans Home celebrated their residents with an Armed Forces BBQ to thank them for their patriotic service in support of our country! The residents enjoyed great food, good music, and comradery throughout the day! WeLoveOurCommunity



















Memorial Day at Washington State Veterans Cemetery



















3rd Annual Serving Those Who Served Conference is Coming to Wenatchee on August 1 and 2.

Space is limited and Registration is Required!  Visit https://serving.eventbrite.com to register today!

Conference Overview:

The purpose of this two day conference is to provide an opportunity for collaboration, networking and professional development in the area of Veterans and their families.

Wednesday, August 1st, 8:00 AM - Thursday, August 2nd, 4:00 PM

Networking Social: Wednesday, August 1, 2018, 5:30-7:30 PM, Pybus Market

For overnight room accommodations, a block of rooms are available at The Coast Wenatchee Center Hotel - www.coasthotels.com - 509-662-1234.

(Accommodations will not covered by the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs or the conference.)

10.5 CEs for Breakout Sessions  

For more information contact Melissa at Melissar@dva.wa.gov

All-veteran Solar Spring Break team explores a new type of service

Perry Tech students participated in GRID’s Solar Spring Break, an alternative break and service learning opportunity for college students. This particular team was unique because all of its members were veterans from different branches of the military. They are all currently studying at a trades school in Washington and connected with this opportunity through the Veterans Conservation Corps.

It’s not everyday that different parts of GRID’s work so perfectly intersect, but this all-veterans Solar Spring Break team forged a meaningful connection between our collegiate programming and Troops to Solar initiative, both supported by our longtime partner Wells Fargo.

Each of the team members specialized in different areas of expertise – some were soon-to-be electricians, others future HVAC and Information Technology technicians – but all of them were united by a curiosity about solar energy and a deep understanding of service. 

“I think everything can be service-oriented, but not everything is. GRID is doing a great job in terms of connecting service-related work to building solar systems for low-income families,” said participant Kim Pham, who spent two years volunteering for GRID Bay Area after leaving a career as a nuclear engineer in the Navy. With a passion for renewable energy, she aspires to build a career for herself as a solar designer and connect others in the veteran community to the renewable energy industry. Happy to be back on the roof installing solar with GRID and doing so alongside fellow veterans kept a smile on Kim’s face throughout the day.

READ ENTIRE STORY: https://gridalternatives.org/regions/northvalley/news/all-veteran-solar-spring-break-team-explores-new-type-service


Inslee honors 20 state government managers for outstanding performance

Gov. Jay Inslee today honored 20 state agency managers who have demonstrated outstanding leadership. The 2018 Governor’s Award for Leadership in Management recipients were honored at an awards luncheon at the Executive Residence.

This year’s recipients were recognized for a wide range of accomplishments, including delivering successful major transportation projects, crafting a comprehensive state operating budget to better fund schools, establishing crucial communication avenues to the public and first responders, and supporting the health and safety of individuals and communities while boosting program efficiency, managing risk and maintaining a focus on results-driven government.

“These managers have set priorities and achieved results, managed risk and modeled leadership competencies,” Inslee said. “They and their staffs are responsible stewards of Washington residents’ resources as they serve capably and honorably every day.”

The Leadership in Management program was created in 1985 to recognize state government managers who demonstrate excellent performance. A selection committee composed of agency directors and executive staff chose the winners based on demonstrated performance.

Steven Gill, Department of Veterans Affairs
Gill was key in gaining rule changes so tribal veteran representatives can represent their own members to the federal Veterans Administration

Story via: https://www.governor.wa.gov/news-media/inslee-honors-20-state-government-managers-outstanding-performance-0

Upcoming Information Technology Apprenticeships

A Note from the Painters and Allied Trades Veterans Program

by Chris Winters, Business Representative

Hardships are often borne by the spouse to deal with while the service member is deployed or on duty here in the continental United States. 

Just recently DC5 Military Affairs prior, to the Christmas Holiday season was on Joint Base Lewis – McChord (JBLM) at 160th C.A.B. or “Combat Support Brigade” helping their FRG or “Family Readiness Group” with building food baskets for the needy….the needy we discovered were and are the lower enlisted service members of the 160th C.A.B. 

Most people have no clue that a good 2/3rds of military service members are if not in upside down debt because of their service, they are eligible for food stamps and DSHS benefits…but often will not know how to utilize of even try for fear of being shamed.

If not for programs like the P.A.T.-V.P. assisting with Service Member transition by providing access to above living wage careers with benefits, and the community partners that help during the service members transitioning back to the civilian careers with small stipends to help offset out of pocket costs…there would be even more tragic consequences showing up in today’s media….people making horrible choices when faced with failing to care for themselves and their families, thank you brothers and sisters….thank you for standing for those who have stood for us.

For more information visit:                     www.pat-vp.org  


Washington Talking Book & Braille Library

Do you find reading print difficult? Are the letters too small, or is the act of holding a book and turning the pages difficult? Audio books from the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library may be just what you need.

WTBBL provides a free and comprehensive library service, including books and magazines in audio and braille formats, Spanish-language titles, and readers’ advisory. All materials, including playback equipment and accessories, are sent free by mail, or you can download books to read at your convenience. BARD, the Braille and Audio Reading Download service, connects users to over 85,000 audio books and dozens of magazines. Readers with an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch can download and read audio and braille books with the BARD Mobile iOS app. For users of Android devices, including the Amazon Kindle Fire, the BARD Mobile app for Android also gives access to the entire audio book collection. BARD Express provides an easy way to search for and download audio books on Windows-based computers.

Our service is available to anyone in Washington who has difficulty using regular print materials as a result of a visual or physical limitation, or a temporary or permanent reading disability. This includes individuals who have had a qualifying disability from birth, persons who are disabled because of medical conditions or trauma, and those who become disabled as they age.

Honorably discharged U.S. veterans who are blind or have a physical disability receive special priority. Library patron and veteran H.K. said, “I’m happy with the ease of using the service. I’m very patriotic, and I like being able to read books on the history of our country.” The men and women who protected our freedom can now enjoy the freedom to read their way.

Whether you choose to get books sent directly to you at home and use one of our digital players, or get your books on-the-go via mobile app, WTBBL’s talking books can keep you reading and keep you connected.

As a current library user from Chimacum said, “I am an 86-year-old 100% disabled veteran of the United States Marine Corps with advanced macular degeneration, legally blind in my right eye and still marginal in my other. I was grateful to hear that I was eligible for your services. I have been listening to a variety of books from poetry to mysteries. This has made a significant difference in my life. I can’t thank WTBBL enough for enriching my life.”

Thank you for your service! For more information on WTBBL services, or to download an application, please visit wtbbl.org or call (800) 542-0866.


Nursing Assistant Certified Port Orchard

Registered Nurse 2 Port Orchard

Licensed Practical Nurse 2 Port Orchard

Licensed Practical Nurse 2 Orting

Licensed Practical Nurse 4 On-Call Spokane

Management Analyst 3 (Compliance Auditor) Walla Walla

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!


Upcoming Events

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



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

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

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