WDVA Veteran Voices
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WDVA Veteran Voices

DECEMBER 2021 

A Message from the Director

12s Flag Raising for All Veterans

If you’re a football fan, you probably noticed that during the month of November, the NFL honored veterans, service members, and their families.  These public acknowledgements of the hard work and sacrifice our veterans and their families have made are important and ensure that our military and veterans, and the issues they face, stay at the forefront of our nation’s hearts and minds.

I was humbled to be asked to raise the Seattle Seahawks 12 Flag before the 2021 Salute To Service game on November 21, at Lumen Field. This was an honor I did not take lightly and I truly felt as though I was raising the flag not for myself, but for our state’s 544,000 veterans and their nearly 2 million family members.

These Salute to Service Games are very public ways to honor veterans, service members and their families for their sacrifices to our country and service to our communities.

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Transitional Housing Program

THP Client Finds Home Near Family

The Army veteran started working with Frink, now his case manager, to fortify his physical and mental health. These were key to becoming stable enough for an independent lifestyle and a place of his own. That two-year goal became a reality in early September.

Melissa advocated for a Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) voucher this year, guiding Miguel through paperwork, documentation, and tracking down leads. They worked with his VASH case manager and found him a cozy apartment in Auburn. It took time, effort, and two years of self-improvement but now he has a place of his own. It’s his first in a decade.

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Washington Soldiers Home

Recreational Therapy "in action" for honored veteran residents at the Washington Soldiers Home in Orting.

Why is Recreation Therapy important? People are happier and stay healthier longer when they are physically and socially active.

Older adults maintain a sharper mind and a higher level of social involvement when they recreate. Recreation Therapy aims to improve an individual's functioning and keep them as active, healthy and independent as possible in their chosen life pursuits.

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Spokane Veterans Home

We would like to thank the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association “Vets Helping Vets” organization for making appreciation plaques for our Spokane Veterans Home facility and all of the hard working staff in our facility when COVID-19 outbreaks first began. #WeLoveOurCommunity

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Spokane Veterans Home Residents also enjoyed an Impromptu Ice Cream Social with the help of their energetic Recreation Therapy Department!  Residents could choose from banana splits or sundaes with a variety of flavors, toppings, whipped cream and of course a cherry on top!  The smiles were absolutely contagious.

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December Events & Observances List 

Here is a current list of upcoming events that your WDVA are tracking.

Please email us your events at communications@dva.wa.gov so we can get them added.

Dec 13-18 - Veterans Holiday Remembrance: Veterans Holiday Remembrance WA State Veterans Cemetery | WDVA

Dec 7 - Pearl Harbor Proclamation: 
PROCLAMATION - Pearl Harbor - December 7, 2021 | WDVA (wa.gov)

Dec 8 - Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee Commanders Call Town Hall: Please Join us for our December VAAC Virtual Town Hall | WDVA (wa.gov)

Jan 18 - Navy Region Northwest Skillbridge Event: SKILLBRIDGE-Linking Transitioning Service Members with Civilian Training Opportunities | WDVA (wa.gov)


Veterans Cemetery Earns WDVA Team Award

“Our program has a unique mission within the agency,” Cemetery Director Rudy Lopez said. “Our job is exclusively to serve grieving families during a time of great need, and the staff does a phenomenal job of making sure those families are cared for and that they know their loved ones are seen to with the greatest care and dignity.”

The team balanced an interment schedule that was 21% higher than the ten-year average with on-going construction. As well as minimizing inconvenience to grieving families, they were routinely praised for the state of the grounds, their heartfelt empathy, and the exceptional levels of service provided.

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Walla Walla Veterans Home

The fabulous musical duo - JoAnne Mohrland from "JoJo's Mojo", and Mr. Mike Hammond in concert on this Veterans Day at the Walla Walla Veterans Home.

It was a wonderful program complete with personal self-introductions from some of our WWVH Veterans who shared their name, branch of service, tours and where they've served.

A moving and memorable day for all - in honor and respect for those who've served our great nation. #TheseAreOurHeroes

Video

WDVA Olympia Veterans Service Center  Reopening

Start booking your appointments!

We’re so excited to see you again!

You WDVA Olympia Veterans Service Center is opening to the public on December 13.

Appointments are required for in-person meetings and virtual sessions are still available -- contact us by phone at 1-800-562-2308 or via email: benefits@dva.wa.gov

Port Orchard Veterans Home

Annual American Legion Gift Shop

The American Legion has had to face many challenges in continuing the annual gift shop tradition this year. 

Thanks to their hard work all year long and this week, the veterans at the Washington Veterans Home and in the Transitional Housing Program could send Christmas gifts to their families.  Each resident may send up to 5 gifts to family members and the volunteers wrap the gifts with decorative holiday paper and then package the gifts for shipping.

All of this is done at no expense to our residents. 

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Please take a few moments and provide us with feedback to make us better in 2022 at Serving Those Who Served. 

Your feedback is instrumental in the continued improvement of your Washington Department of Veterans Affairs.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WDVA2021

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1102 Quince St SE, Olympia WA

1-800-562-2308
Communications@dva.wa.gov
www.dva.wa.gov