Alfie Alvarado Headshot

A Message from the Director

Washington State's Outstanding Service to Veterans Awardees honored in Auburn

By WDVA Director, Alfie Alvarado-Ramos

During this year's Auburn Veterans Day Luncheon, six Washington residents and two teams were honored with Outstanding Service to Veterans Awards for their contributions to Washington State’s veterans and their families during the past year. 

The awards, co-sponsored each year by the Governor's Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee (VAAC) and the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs, recognize individuals who devote time and energy to improving the lives of Washington's veterans and their families.

The awards were presented during a special luncheon in Auburn, which followed the awardees participation in the City’s annual Veterans Day Parade. 

The 2019 Outstanding Service to Veterans are:

  • Senator Hans Zeiger – 25th District
  • Representative Mike Chapman – 24th District
  • Gary Condra – Puyallup, WA
  • Randy Turner – Lakewood Veterans Court, WA
  • Allen Acosta – Lacey, WA
  • Christopher Carver – Spokane, WA
  • Tahoma National Cemetery
  • Spokane County Regional Veterans Services Center 

What a tremendous honor it was to celebrate those who are Serving Those Who Served! 

View all of the photos from the event on our FlickR photo album website at:





Veterans Day at Spokane Veterans Home

The Spokane Veterans Home recently held their annual Veterans Day program.

The keynote speaker was W. Paul Manly, Coast Guard, Master Chief Petty Officer (Ret) who talked about his life and experiences as a veteran.

We would like to send a special thank you to the Medical Lake High School Jazz Band and the 141st Air National Guard Air Refueling Wing Honor Guard for joining us and conducting color guard and performing wonderful patriotic music.




Veterans Day at the Washington Soldiers Home

The WA Soldiers Home Veterans Day Program was a joyful occasion to express gratitude and pride for veterans and their families.

Robert Pence, WSH Administrator emceed the program while WA Soldiers Home Chaplains delivered the invocation and benediction. Special thanks goes to the Rogers High School JROTC Color Guard who presented the Colors while the Puyallup Valley Community Band performed throughout the event.

Rose Meyers, WSH Resident, Resident Council Vice Chair, Spouse, U.S. Army lead the Pledge of Allegiance and John Underwood, WSH Resident, Resident Council Member, U.S. Army, Vietnam presented the Governor’s Proclamation.

The event keynote speaker was LTC John J. Gartside, Commander, 98th MED DET (COSC) who delivered a moving and inspirational speech.

We would like to send a thank you to all the presenters in the WA Soldiers Home Veterans Day Program, as well as the Veterans Service Organizations, community groups and individuals for participating in and supporting this patriotic event!

Walla Walla Veterans Home Residents Enjoy Walla Walla Veterans Day Parade

It was a great turnout on a freezing cold morning! Both sides of Main Street and Alder were filled with people from all walks of life... honoring those who've served our country.  Our residents were overjoyed to watch the parade and to receive several "thank yous" from the general public.


Commissary, Military Service Exchange, and MWR access extended to more Veterans beginning January

New law provides eligible Veterans and Primary Family Caregivers with access to DoD and Coast Guard commissaries, exchanges, and morale, welfare, and recreation retail services.

According to the Department of Defense, starting Jan. 1, 2020, all service-connected Veterans, Purple Heart recipients, former prisoners of war (POW), and individuals approved and designated as the primary family caregivers of eligible Veterans under the Department of Veterans Affairs Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC) can use commissaries, exchanges, and morale, welfare and recreation (MWR) retail facilities,
in-person and online.


Who is eligible Jan. 1, 2020?

  • Veterans

    • Purple Heart recipients

    • former prisoners of war

    • Veterans with 0-90% service-connected disability ratings

(For former service members who have not yet sought disability compensation from VA, visit

  • Medal of Honor recipients and Veterans with 100% service-connected disability ratings are already eligible under existing DOD policy.

  • Caregivers

    • On Jan. 1, individuals approved and designated as the primary family caregiver of an eligible veteran under the PCAFC will be eligible for these privileges.

    • For information about primary family caregivers in the PCAFC, visit

Required credentials.

  • Veterans

    • On Jan. 1, Veterans eligible solely under this act who are eligible to obtain a Veteran Health Identification Card must use this credential for in-person installation and privilege access. The card must display the Veteran’s eligibility status (i.e., PURPLE HEART, FORMER POW or SERVICE CONNECTED). Apply here:

    • Veterans eligible solely under this act who are not enrolled in or are not eligible to enroll in VA health care, or who are enrolled in VA health care, but do not possess a Veteran Health Identification Card will not have access to DoD and Coast Guard installations for in-person commissary, exchange, and MWR retail privileges, but will have full access to online exchanges and American Forces Travel.

    • Medal of Honor recipients and Veterans with 100% service-connected disability ratings are eligible for DoD credentials under DoD policy.

  • Caregivers

    • Eligible caregivers will receive an eligibility letter from VA’s Office of Community Care.

    • If you are a primary family caregiver under the PCAFC and lose your eligibility letter, please call 1-877-733-7927 to request a replacement.  Please allow two weeks for processing.

For more information regarding these privileges and access to military installations, visit



Donations Needed: Wreaths-across-America

Seeking Funding for Veterans Memorials?


​​​​​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 for more information or visit:

​​​​​Now Hiring at Four Veterans Homes Across the State



Nursing Assistant Certified (Various Shifts)- Port Orchard

Nursing Assistant Certified (Various Shifts)- Walla Walla

Nursing Assistant Certified (Various Shifts)- Spokane

More Info: Please visit Employment to see the opportunities that we have! 
You can also contact a recruiter at



Hired a Veteran? Sign Up Today at

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 for more information and to signup!



Upcoming Events

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

December 2019 EVENTS


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Serving Those Who Served. 

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