A Message from the Director
WDVA Honors Former Director,
John M. King - 1948 - 2021
By WDVA Director, Alfie Alvarado-Ramos
On January 26, 2021, John M. King lost his battle with cancer. John was a Vietnam Veteran who believed the sun rose and set with his wife Joy, and lived for his sons, his grandchildren and his entire family.
Appointed by Governor Locke, John led WDVA from 1997 to 2008 with tenacity and vigor. He was active not only with his colleagues in Governor Locke’s cabinet, but also with leaders across the country as an officer of the National Association for State Directors of Veterans Affairs (NASDVA). Washington State even hosted the NASDVA annual conference in Seattle in 2005, allowing WDVA to showcase all our state had to offer.
During his tenure, two major milestones were achieved in our State Veterans Homes Program.
In 2001, John saw an opportunity to expand WDVA’s long term care services east of mountains, when a Spokane area hospital decided to get out of the nursing home business. The building, and all the equipment, was for sale. John’s power of persuasion and tireless advocacy to legislative leaders led to the purchase of the building. The Spokane Veterans Home was opened soon after and was the ‘nose in the camel’s tent’, as John liked to say, for WDVA’s provision of services in Eastern Washington. Today we have expanded far beyond the walls of the Veterans Home with facilities like the State Veterans Cemetery in Medical Lake and the Spokane Regional Veterans Service Center.
At our Port Orchard Veterans Home (it was still Retsil during John’s time at WDVA!), John led the team designing a new nursing care building. The goal of the project was to provide a unique design, giving every resident the feel of a private room, while still meeting the requirements of the Federal VA State Veterans Home Construction Grant Program. The new building replaced buildings 9 and 10 and offers 240 beds to veterans and their spouses or widows, and it met the LEED Gold requirements, the first time a nursing home had been built to these strict environmental standards.
There are many other contributions John made to our agency. John was a mentor and a friend. His family and friends can be proud of the legacy he left as Director of YOUR Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs.
Yours in service,
OBITUARY - John M. King - January 26, 2021
Olympia, Washington - John King, our beloved husband, father, grandfather, and friend passed away at home, at the age of 73.
He will be remembered for his life-long commitment to public service, his dedication to veterans, love of the outdoors and most of all, his love of family.
John is survived by his wife of 48 years, Joy & two sons, seven grandchildren, six siblings and 21 nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held at Mt. Tahoma National Cemetery at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be directed to:
Nineline Veterans Services, 5013 Pacific Hwy E, Suite 21, Fife WA 98424
More information at: www.forest-funeralhome.com
Now Accepting Admissions for Four Skilled Nursing Facilities - Walla Walla, Orting, Port Orchard and Spokane
Now Accepting Admissions for Four Skilled Nursing Facilities – Walla Walla, Orting, Port Orchard and Spokane
Caring for veterans who need skilled nursing, rehabilitation, or long-term care.
For veterans needing care following a qualifying hospital stay, we offer Medicare rehabilitative care. Our admissions team works closely with hospital discharge planners to quickly process applications.
Veterans rated 70%-100% Service Connected Disabled, or whose service connected disability is the reason nursing care is needed, may have their nursing home care paid by the Federal VA
Download an application now: https://dva.wa.gov/veterans-their-families/veterans-homes/admission-application
Call 1-877-838-7787 or e-mail us directly at:
Port Orchard: MelissaJ@dva.wa.gov
Walla Walla: LonnaL@dva.wa.gov
LEARN MORE AT: https://dva.wa.gov/veterans-their-families/veterans-homes
- Highlighting WDVA Programs -
TRANSITIONAL HOUSING PROGRAM
Transitional housing facilities in Port Orchard and Orting help those in need with stable housing, vocational rehabilitation, and employment. Veterans are surrounded with staff and wrap-around services that lead to successful program completion and return to the community.
• Increased residential stability
• Greater self-determination
• Increased skill level and income potential
To participate in the program, veterans must:
- Have served in any branch of the US Armed Forces
- Have received an Honorable or General Under Honorable Discharge
- (OTH discharged veterans are eligible on a case-by-case basis)
- Been homeless for one or more nights
- Desire to lead a clean and sober lifestyle
- Desire to make meaningful life changes leading to independent living
- Be willing to undergo criminal background check
Veterans collaborate with case managers to form an individualized case plan. Accountability, progress in achieving case plan goals, and abiding by program rules are program participation.
Van transporation is available for case management related appointments. The Port Orchard facility is also located on bus lines and is accessible by ferry from the Seattle area.
Women Veterans Wing and Building
The Women Veterans Wing at Orting provides dedicated services for women veterans, including privacy and security.
TRANSITIONAL HOUSING PROGRAM STATISTICS
Learn More about the Transitional Housing Program and/or to download applications, please visit us at:
Veterans Transitional Housing Program | WDVA (wa.gov)
Mardi Gras at Washington Veterans Home
Even with COVID-19 restrictions in place, the Recreation staff at the Washington Veterans Home in Port Orchard could not let #mardigras slip past without some creativity for a celebration!
There was a cart parade that included mock hurricanes for all. Great music played as the Mocktails were shared with many smiling residents throughout the building. #TheseAreOurHeroes
Learn more about the Washington Veterans Home in Port Orchard by visiting: https://dva.wa.gov/veterans-their-families/veterans-homes
Donations to Spokane Veterans Home
Keeping us warm!
Our local Air Force Campfire Group recently donated campfire goodies, hats and socks to our Spokane Veterans Home.
With the recent cold fronts, these donated items came in perfect timing to help keep our residents and staff warm! #WeLoveOurCommunity
Learn more about the Spokane Veterans Home in Port Orchard by visiting: https://dva.wa.gov/veterans-their-families/veterans-homes
Furry Friend Visits Walla Walla Veterans Home
"Snowy" recently came to spend quality, therapeutic time with residents in the Hudson and Kirkman Houses located on the Walla Walla Veterans Home Campus.
Snowy visits every house on campus regularly and they absolutely love his gentle, loving and kind spirit!
Big thanks to Sarah in our Activities department for sharing him with all of everyone at the home, especially with our Veterans and Veteran spouses who need and deeply benefit from his visits.
Snowy always brings such joy and comfort every day that he's here!
Honoring Black Veterans - Black History Month
Each February during Black History Month, we honor the black Americans who came before us and still serve now, standing for their dreams and rights, and making a difference for us all. We also proudly celebrate and honor the African-American experience and sacrifice. WDVA salutes you! Join is recognizing in celebrating the Black Military Heroes below.
Revolution and War of 1812
James Robinson. Born, lived, and fought while enslaved getting promised freedom each time. Lived to be 115!
Twice denied the freedom he’d fought for, a black Revolutionary War hero from Maryland is honored at last - USA TODAY
Robert Smalls - Received his freedom when he stole the Confederate Boat he was piloting, picked up all of his crew’s families and his own (slaves) and sailed into the Union’s arms. Served numerous years in Congress!