A Message from the Director
Your Voice Heard - Military and Veteran Spouse Listening Sessions Taking Place across Washington
By WDVA Director, Alfie Alvarado-Ramos
We know military spouses face challenges when it comes to securing employment that is commensurate with their skills and abilities. There could be a number of reasons why this happens such certificates and licenses not being portable from state to state or businesses shying away from candidates with on-base addresses or resumes showing multiple moves.
In Washington State, we are working hard not only to streamline how we issue credentials, but also to inspire businesses to take advantage of the vast potential military spouses bring to the workforce. Just like veterans whose work ethic, expert training, and commitment to mission are second to none, military spouses bring to their employers adaptability, education, diversity, extensive networks and ability to thrive in stressful situations.
Before we head down the path of engaging businesses in a military spouse hiring initiative, Suzi Levine, the Washington State Employment Security Department Commissioner, and I are visiting our military installations to make sure we hear directly from military spouse’s what they see as heir challenges and ideas for supporting their careers and families.
Our first session was held at JBLM where spouses shared their experiences with employer bias because of anticipated short-term employment commitments, lack of job search support, and challenges with credential portability.
- Educating employers by sponsoring business roundtables and publishing materials to promote the benefits of hiring military spouses.
- Connecting military spouses with local career navigators both on-base and off-base.
- Promoting more robust military spouse orientations.
- Supporting programs that quickly transfer credentials following a move.
We want you to join us and share your concerns, ideas and desires during our upcoming Military Spouse Listening Sessions across the state, so please take a look at the upcoming schedule and register now!
Military Spouses Serve Too!
Changes are also taking place at the national level. The Pentagon recently unveiled the Military Spouse Transition Program, or MySTeP. The MySTeP program is a journey, with resources for the first day that they became a military spouse to the day that their spouse retires or separates. The program includes three steps or phases: “Stepping In” is for new spouses, “Stepping Through” for ones who are familiar with military life, and “Stepping Beyond” for spouses about to transition back to civilian life with their spouse. MySTep is available on the Military OneSource website.
In addition, the Armed Forces are offering reimbursement for qualifying licensing costs to military spouses who must obtain state occupational re-licensures or re-certifications during a permanent change of station. You can find out more about these at: https://www.doh.wa.gov/LicensesPermitsandCertificates/ProfessionsNewReneworUpdate/MilitaryResources/MilitarySpouseandRegisteredDomesticPartner
I Am Not Invisible - An Affair to Remember -
2019 Women Veterans Recognition Gala
For a more detailed look at the agenda, please contact Lisa Narciso at LisaN@dva.wa.gov
Military Spouse Listening Sessions -
Naval Air Station Whidbey Island & Fairchild AFB
For more information on this event, please contact GaryL@dva.wa.gov
Ambassador for Peace Medals Presented to Walla Walla Veterans Home Residents
Ambassador for Peace Ceremony
Honoring our Korean War Veterans
July 29, 2019
Family, friends, residents and staff gathered in the Community Center for a special ceremony to honor our Korean War Veterans. Alfie Alvarado-Ramos, Director of the WA State Department of Veterans Affairs, presented beautiful medals and accompanying books to each Korean War Veteran and to 2 Korean War Veteran widows who are living here at WWVH. The commemorative medal is an expression of appreciation from the Korean government to American service men and women who served in the Korean War.
It was very moving and a privilege to recognize and show respect to these Veterans who gave so much of themselves in service of this country!
Learn more about the Walla Walla Veterans Home by visiting:
Clinicians Needed for War Trauma Program
Summer Events at Spokane Veterans Home
Spokane Veterans Home Residents are soaking up the summer sun while fishing for the "Big One"! The Spokane Veterans Home has taken multiple fishing trips and residents have caught a total of 5 fish, 1 anchor and 3 lures so far.
Amongst all of the excitement, residents enjoy friendly competitions and refuse to check their phones during the competition out of fear of missing out on that "Big One".
We would like to send a special Thank You to the West Shore Association at Deer Lake for hosting our residents. The West Shore Association at Deer Lake have been volunteering/hosting this event with the Spokane Veterans Home and hosting a lunch after fishing for the past 11 years.
Our Veterans look forward to this event every summer and they can’t wait for the next adventure coming up in August.
Which boat will catch the most fish? What will they find at the bottom of Deer Lake? Who will catch the "Big One"? Stay tuned for more! #WeLoveOurCommunity
Learn more about the Spokane Veterans Home by visiting:
Washington Soldiers Home Independence Day BBQ
Washington Soldiers Home residents recently enjoyed a very tasty barbecue picnic prepared by the Dietary Department. The WSH's Administrator, Robert Pence greeted residents with his energetic and loving dog, Luke. Lively music was performed throughout by the LucasRose Duo. Entertainment and smiles were aplenty via Melon-E The Clown spreading cheer with his smiles, stickers and balloons!
A very special thank you to the WSH Resident Council, the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), local Boy Scout Troop 274-Puyallup, dozens of individual volunteers and all the staff who supported the WA Soldiers Home Picnic! #WeLoveOurCommunity
Learn more about the Washington Soldiers Home by visiting:
Now Hiring at Four Veterans Homes Across the State
Are you a CNA, RN or LPN looking for a career that allows you to give back to your community and provide compassionate care to Veterans? Contact Recruiters@dva.wa.gov for more information or visit: www.governmentjobs.com/careers/washington/?keywords=wdva
Nominate Now: Outstanding Service to Veterans Awards
Nominations Being Accepted Now!
Nomination Form Deadline for submissions is September 20, 2019.
You know who they are, volunteers, service officers, community members or others who day in and day out go above and beyond the call of duty making sure veterans and their family members are cared for. Whether they submit claims for benefits, arrange funeral honors for grieving families, coordinate events or donate countless hours in veterans hospitals or nursing homes, here is your chance to nominate them for one of seven Outstanding Service to Veterans Awards.
This awards program is sponsored by the Governor’s Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee (VAAC) and award winners are invited to participate in the Auburn Veteran's Day Parade, followed by recognition at a special luncheon.
You can nominate individuals for Outstanding Service to Veterans Awards in the following categories:
- Superior Award - This award is the Committee's highest honor and is given to recognize clearly superior accomplishments, achievements and outstanding performance.
- Distinguished Service Award - This award is used to recognize significant accomplishments and special contributions.
- Team Award - This award is designed to recognize significant accomplishments of a team or group of individuals. This may be for their contributions on a special project, special contribution and outstanding performance.
Nominations may be submitted by any person, organization, or institution and must be received by September 20, 2019.
Forgotten Heroes Interment for Unclaimed Veterans
The State Veterans Cemetery, Medical Lake will hold a Forgotten Heroes interment for unclaimed Veterans, on September 10 at 2pm.
WDVA works closely with Veterans service groups, funeral industry partners, public administrators and other concerned citizens to ensure the dignified burial of unclaimed veterans. Collectively we work to locate, positively identify, and inter eligible veterans and family members. These organizations work tirelessly throughout the year researching military service records and vital records to locate unclaimed veterans eligible for burial at the Washington State Veterans Cemetery. Once identified, the logistics of claiming and coordinating the transfer to the state’s Veterans Cemetery in Medical Lake begins.
Over the coming weeks unclaimed Veterans remains from throughout the state will be escorted to the Washington State Veterans Cemetery, Medical Lake where the cremains will be ceremoniously turned over to the Department of Veterans Affairs for interment. Over 50 individuals will be interred in their final resting place with full military honors in a community interment service. The final committal service will take place at 2:00pm on Tuesday September 10, 2019, and is open to the public. As a reminder, pets or the use of any tobacco products are not allowed on the premises.
The Washington State Veterans Cemetery is open to the public 7 days a week, from 8am to sunset. Interments are held Monday through Friday and are scheduled by contacting the cemetery staff. For additional information regarding the ride and the interment service please contact the cemetery at 509-299-6280 or visit www.dva.wa.gov/Cemetery .
For more information, contact Rudy Lopez at Cemetery@dva.wa.gov
Save the Date: Governor's Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee Town Hall - Commander's Call
The Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee (VAAC) is a seventeen member committee appointed by the Governor. Each member is appointed to a term of four years. Veterans are recommended for appointment to the VAAC by the leadership of nationally recognized Veteran Service Organizations active in Washington State, and two members are appointed as veterans at large.
The VAAC Operates with the motto of No Veteran Forgotten, and serves in an advisory capacity to the Governor and the Director of the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs. Members divide into small groups and plan Town Hall meetings in locations across the state.
Town Hall meetings serve two purposes:
1) To provide a forum for veterans and their families to learn about the services and resources available in their own communities.
2) To educate VAAC members on issues that are important to veterans and their families across the state so that the VAAC can share this information with the WDVA Director and the Governor.
For more information on the VAAC, contact Rene Morales at ReneM@dva.wa.gov
WDVA Hot Jobs - APPLY NOW
More Info: Please visit Employment to see the opportunities that we have!
You can also contact a recruiter at Karimah.Ly@dva.wa.gov
Hired a Veteran? Sign Up Today at www.YesVets.org
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!
View our WDVA Calendar to stay updated with upcoming events to attend
September 2019 EVENTS
TO VIEW OUR SEPTEMBER CALENDAR, CLICK HERE
WDVA Web Calendar: www.dva.wa.gov/calendar
WDVA Facebook Calendar: www.facebook.com/WSDVA/Events