Alfie Alvarado HeadshotA Message from the Director -
Honoring Women Veterans Day
By WDVA Director, Alfie Alvarado-Ramos

Hello to our Sisters of Arms and fellow allies in Washington State,

Earlier this month we celebrated June 12, as Women Veterans Day, across the country.

Although this observance is still fairly new and we were unable to get together for a big event, we wanted to recognize the service and sacrifice of our women veterans

There are nearly 70,000 women veterans in Washington State and our numbers keep growing, that’s why it’s important to let you know that, You Are Not Invisible!

You have a sisterhood ready and willing to serve you!

This is why we have a Women Veterans Advisory Committee (WVAC) in Washington State and this is a committee that has been working year after year to support local women-led events, regional summits and incarcerated women veterans.

Through our agency and other partners, we also assist women veterans without homes to find permanent housing, connect our sisters to compensation and pension benefits, and counseling & wellness services.

We urge you to leave no woman veteran behind by becoming more familiar with your WDVA programs by visiting:

Learn more about the WVAC, by visiting: 

Women Veterans Video Message from the Women Veterans Advisory

​​​​​With gratitude,



JULY 13 & 15

The purpose of TOGETHER WASHINGTON – WDVA SUICIDE PREVENTION SUMMIT is to update suicide prevention stakeholders on current status of suicide prevention legislation, the Statewide Plan on SMVF Suicide Prevention, and Governor’s Challenge Implementation Plan Strategies.

The aim is to create solidarity and collaboration among suicide prevention services/agencies and tribal communities, and learn about the causes of suicide, raise awareness of available intervention services, suicide prevention models and share promising best practices.

Resident Enjoys The Honour Project Flight 

Donation to Spokane Veterans Home

VFW State Commander Tracy Williams recently visited the Spokane Veterans Home.

While visiting and touring the facility, the VFW Post Commander presented our Veterans Betterment Account with a $2000.00 check.

The Veterans Betterment Account assists residents by purchasing personal items or other items residents might like for the facility. 

We would like to thank them for their generosity in giving! #WeLoveOurCommunity 

Learn more about items that still be needed by visiting us at:

Memorial Day Parade at Washington Soldiers Home

Washington Soldiers Home residents could hear in anticipation the rumble of decorated cars, trucks and motorcycles in the vehicle parade as they entered the grounds on Memorial Day.

A bugler from the Boy Scouts of America performed Taps as the parade of vehicles entered the grounds. This was a time of honor of remembrance of those residents who had passed since 2019.

The residents who had passed were recognized with their names and military branch on individual signs that were staked into the ground at the WA Soldiers Home entrance. A booklet created by Chaplain Leah with staff input featured and acknowledged each resident with pictures and their stories was distributed to residents, staff and parade participants.

The Memorial Day Vehicle Parade was also a time for parade participants and residents to make direct and profound face-to-face connections, which was greatly needed and appreciated by all involved!

Nursing Care Facility residents greeted the parade participants with flag waving and cheers as they passed by the Skilled Nursing Facility. Music Works for Veterans gave a lively performance on their vehicles at the Nursing Care Facility front entrance for the duration of the parade.

Thank you to family members, volunteers, community partners, MusicWorks4Veterans, and the City of Orting for supporting WA Soldiers Home residents on Memorial Day! Thank you to Chaplain Leah for organizing the parade, as well as her team and all of the staff who supported her efforts! #WeLoveOurCommunity

Celebrating 100 Year Birthday: Shelza Picciano
Washington Veterans Home in Port Orchard

The Staff of the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs and the residents of the Washington Veterans Home were honored to celebrate the 100th birthday of Mrs. Shelza Picciano on Thursday June 17, 2021.

Shelza Picciano was born June 20th, 1921 in Auburn, New York. As a young woman, her family tells the story of how she was known as the “Beauty of Auburn.” She graduated from High School, then later married Anthony Picciano in 1946. Her husband, Anthony, was a WWII veteran who served in the Air Force. Together, they have two sons and three daughters.

During her life, Shelza worked in retail and clerical professions, she even spent some time working in a women’s correctional facility. She was an avid painter, with many pieces hanging in her room to this day. In early 2019, Shelza and Anthony both moved into the Washington Veterans Home due to Shelza’s progressing dementia and his absolute devotion to being with her until the end. When Anthony died later that year, they had been married for 73 years. Shelza still lives at the Washington Veterans Home as a resident of the Memory Care Unit.

Serve Veterans In Your Community - Vet Corps

Greetings Community Partners,

We are excited about the launch of our recruitment efforts for the 2021-22 Vet Corps service term and are asking you to assist us in our mission of Serving Those Who Served in the community.

We are requesting your help in sharing the toolkit below to market the position.

The Vet Corps Program helps veterans and their family members navigate Washington’s higher education and training programs as veterans adjust from military to their second mission.

Apply Now:

Vet Corps Listing ID 102887

Sharable Vet Corps YouTube video:

$2.2 Million Awarded to 31 WA State VSOs -
Washington State Department of Commerce

Nonprofit Community Recovery grants assist organizations that provide gathering places and services to veterans and their families throughout the state.

OLYMPIA, Wash. –The Washington State Department of Commerce and Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA) have awarded $2.2 million in Nonprofit Community Recovery Grants to assist nonprofit Veteran Service Organizations (VSOs) as they continue supporting veterans during the pandemic.  VSOs provide vital services in communities throughout the state for veterans and their families, and play an important role in WDVA’s mission of “Serving Those Who Served.”

The COVID-19 outbreak and closure of Veteran Service Organization posts across the state resulted in loss of revenue from fundraisers and other activities.

“It is our honor to provide this vital assistance to Veteran Service Organizations,” said WDVA Director Lourdes “Alfie” Alvarado-Ramos.  “VSOs provide opportunities for veterans to connect with peers, receive assistance filing disability claims to the Federal Veterans Administration, and serve as gathering places for a number of other nonprofit community organizations.”

READ MORE: 22-million-awarded-31-washington-state-veteran-service-organizations-washington-state-department

Available Internships with
Veterans Conservation Corps

Get connected, while giving back to your community!

Veterans Conservations Corps is currently offering several internships in locations like Orting, Olympia, Okanogan, Tumwater, Spokane, Colfax, Shelton and Lake Stevens.

Veterans Conservation Corps serves those who served by providing veterans with self-directed connections to the lands, waters, and communities in WA State.


Lower Columbia Fish Enhancement Group (Vancouver)
Salmon Habitat Restoration Intern 

Palouse Conservation District (Pullman)
Natural Resource Conservation Intern 

Mother Earth Farm (Orting)
Farm Intern 

Garden-Raised Bounty (Olympia)
GRuB Garden Project Intern

Thurston Conservation District (Tumwater)
Habitat Field Crew Intern

CCEW Food For All (Spokane)
Farm to Community Program Intern

Whitman Conservation District (Colfax)
Conservation and Restoration Intern

Mason Conservation District (Shelton)
Field Restoration Crew Intern

Snohomish Conservation District (Lake Stevens)
Stormwater Resource Project Intern

For more information on available internships or how to get connected with Veterans Conservation Corps, please contact Kim Pham at

WDVA Podcast - Moral Injury with Dr. Chalon Ervin
Hosted by Veterans Peer Corps Manager - Bryan Bales

Moral Injury with Dr. Chalon Ervin

June 22, 2021

Part One of Three Interviews with Dr. Chalon Ervin!
She joins the podcast to talk about Moral Injury. 

Email: Website:

Instagram: Renewal of the Mind LLC (@renewal_of_the_mind) • Instagram photos and videos    Facebook: Renewal of the Mind Psychological Services LLC - Home | Facebook

To Connect with the WDVA Podcast go to VPC@DVA.WA.GOV 

10,000 Donated Masks from the
Taiwanese Chambers of Commerce

We would like to thank the 世界台灣商會聯合總會 World Taiwanese Chambers of Commerce and their National President for kindly donating 10,000 disposal face masks to veterans and healthcare workers in Washington State. #WeLoveOurCommunity

Celebrating and Sharing Resources for June as Pride Month 

Join us in celebrating diversity, promoting inclusion, and equal protection during Pride Month!  We strive to create an environment where all of our teammates are able to live their life authentically; feeling safe, supported, and empowered free from discriminatory policies and practices. 

Pride Month is celebrated to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan. The Stonewall Uprising was a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States. The purpose of the commemorative month is to recognize the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals have had on history.

Pride logoLast year, your Washington Department of Veterans Affairs was proud to release a logo, for Pride month, that celebrates the amazing contributions of our LGBTQ+ veterans and colleagues.  

This year, we also welcome our first LGBTQ+ Veterans Outreach Coordinator, Robin Lang, and our WDVA Diversity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee who are sharing and embracing unique perspectives to make us a stronger and more innovative organization. They remain committed to providing a safe, inclusive and welcoming workplace for all team members, partners, customers and visitors.  

LGBTQ+ Resources

Rain (State LGBTQ+ Business Resource Group) Resources


  1. It is estimated 1 million lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender veterans in the United States
  2. It’s estimated that over 134,000 American veterans are transgender, and over 15,000 trans people are serving in military today. Support for transgender veterans in increasing, but they still face barriers from obtaining updated service records that do not out them as transgender, and from receiving VA coverage of necessary medical procedures.”   
  3. Gilbert Baker, an American U.S. Army Veteran, artist, and gay rights activist created the LGBT Flag in 1978.
  4. A 2017 study found that 96, 893 of LGBT veterans had an increased risk of suicide mortality than compared with general US population and general veteran population. 
  5. Harvey Milk, was an American politician and the first openly gay elected official in California.  Milk served in the United States Navy during the Korean War and served as a diving officer.  He later served as a diving instructor at Naval Station, San Diego.  Milk ended his three year and 11 months military career he was discharged as a lieutenant, junior grade.  It is theorized he was discharged as Other Than Honorable for homosexual acts and was being threatened with a court-martial. 

​​​​​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:

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

Celebrating National Nursing Assistants Week in June

National Nursing Assistants Week kicks off every year on June 17 with a single-day celebration exhibiting the special care and attention provided by direct care staff. Every year, on the first day of National Nursing Assistants’ Week, we observe National Career Nurse Assistants’ Day. On this day, we recognize all nursing assistants who dedicate their lives to the well-being of others.

The certified nursing assistant profession officially began around the time of World War I. Around this time in 1914, there was a high demand for care to treat wounded soldiers. Because of the amount of maintenance needed, the American Red Cross started volunteer nurse aide services. These first CNA’s worked alongside army nurses treating soldiers and filling empty positions in hospitals throughout reserves, bases, and even civilian hospitals. This was one of the first times CNAs were recognized and praised for their strength and courage as caregivers and advocates for their patients.

Today, CNAs play a host of roles in the lives of residents in nursing homes, hospitals, and long-term care facilities. They provide essential support for patient needs by promoting mental, physical, emotional, social, and spiritual well-being.

Nursing Assistants tend to do a lot of heavy lifting (literal and metaphoric), and when COVID-19 hit, that weight was compounded. Not only do they feed, bathe, clothe the individuals in their charge, they also serve as a vital human connection for our residents. Especially when residents are not allowed to have visitors due to restrictions. They have become a lifeline in many ways, and we are eternally grateful for their dedicated work.

Thank you for protecting and serving our community with your professionalism and compassion.


If you or someone you know has hired a veteran in 2021,

please visit:

YesVets Reaches 5500 Veterans Hired


Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program Receives $500,000 from U.S. DOL

On June 01, 2021, your Washington Department of Veterans Affairs was honored to receive a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Labor for our Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (HVRP).

“We are honored to receive this grant that will positively impact hundreds of veterans and their family members,” said Washington Department of Veterans Affairs Director, Alfie Alvarado-Ramos.  “This funding will help us address issues that veterans without homes face, as well as assist with reintegrating veterans back into employment and back into a home.”

The U.S. Department of Labor announced the grants to help homeless veterans return to meaningful employment and address the complex problems facing homeless veterans.

This funding will support veterans in King, Mason, Kitsap, Pierce, Thurston, Lewis, Yakima, Grant, Ferry, Stevens, Pend Oreille, Lincoln, Spokane, Adams, Whitman Counties.

The program goals outline for placing 200 veterans in employment, placing more than 175 veterans in permanent housing and enrolling 250 participants into the HVRP program.

To learn more about the HVRP program, please visit:
Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program | WDVA (


WDVA Comptroller (WMS2), Olympia 

WDVA Communications Consultant 4

WDVA Carpenter, WA Veterans Home, Port Orchard

WDVA Recreation & Athletics Specialist 3, Orting

Licensed Practical Nurse 2 (LPN2), Port Orchard

Licensed Practical Nurse 2, Orting

Nursing Assistant Certified Walla Walla

Licensed Practical Nurse 4, Spokane

Nursing Assistant Certified - Port Orchard

Nursing Assistant Certified, WA Soldiers Home, Orting

WDVA Nursing Assistant Certified, Spokane

Registered Nurse 2 Spokane - S1024

Registered Nurse 2 Walla Walla

To Apply or for more Information on Available Employment Opportunities:

Upcoming Events

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



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2021 at Serving Those Who Served. 

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