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Posts made in: 'Joint Base Lewis-McChord' (217) Currently Viewing: 71 - 80 of 217

June 17, 2014 at 11:17am

Kristian Bush of Sugarland to perform at JBLM FreedomFest

Kristian Bush, one-half-of platinum-selling country duo Sugarland, will perform at Joint Base Lewis-McChord July 4. Photo credit: David McClister

Grammy Award-winning performer, songwriter and producer Kristian Bush really does actually sing; it's just been little awhile. Bush is well known and lauded as a multi-award winning songwriter and musician; yet other performers sing his words. But these days, as a solo artist, currently on a tour to promote his new songs, Bush is cozying up to the mic. And for the performer, singing, playing and performing is extra sweet.

Bush has been writing and performing music for more than two decades. In the early 1990s, he formed a folk-rock act called Billy Pilgrim with fellow writer and performer Andrew Hydra. Billy Pilgrim was successful and brought acclaim and accomplishment to the pair. However, it was another important pairing that really put Bush's career in overdrive.

This summer Bush is out on the road performing on the 2014 "Put Your Soul In It Tour," with a stop right here in South Puget Sound. Bush is the featured performer at the 2014 JBLM FreedomFest being held July 4 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Bush takes the main stage at 6:30 p.m. and will entertain audiences until 8 p.m. According to the performer's website, he will perform with a five-piece band including Rebecca and Megan Lovell of roots duo, Larkin Poe.


June 16, 2014 at 1:34pm

South Sound agencies collaborating with JBLM to develop land use compatibility strategies

On the heels of the Washington State Department of Transportation's public presentation of ideas to fix the traffic hell outside the Joint Base Lewis-McChord gates comes a trifecta of public meetings centering on the JBLM Joint Land Use Study. The South Sound Military & Communities Partnership has released the dates. ...

Lakewood, WA - Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) is changing, and so are the communities in the south Puget Sound region.

Now, the organization that's working to ensure effective communication and collaboration between the base and its neighbors is looking to engage the community in planning for the areas surrounding the base. The project, called the JBLM Joint Land Use Study (JLUS), focuses on the region's long-term land use plans, with goals of supporting the military mission at JBLM, ensuring public health and safety throughout the region, and protecting the neighboring communities' abilities to plan for development.


June 13, 2014 at 9:51am

New JBLM elementary school attendance boundaries

The new attendance boundary map for Beachwood Elementary on Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Map courtesy of Clover Park School District

In May the Clover Park School District Board of Directors approved school attendance boundary adjustments for elementary schools located on Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM). The adjustments take effect for the 2014-15 school year, which will begin on Aug. 27, and are the result of the opening of two new schools, Rainier Elementary School on JBLM Main and Meriwether Elementary on JBLM North. A third new elementary school is anticipated to open on base in fall 2015.

Although a public hearing for families to learn about the proposed boundary adjustments was held on April 21, the school district is continuing to reach out to parents to ensure that everyone affected is aware of the changes. Highlights of the proposed boundary adjustments and decisions regarding acceptance of attendance waivers include:  

  • Kindergarten waivers will not be accepted for Hillside and Rainier Elementary Schools. This includes those families who may have siblings currently attending Clarkmoor, Greenwood and Hillside Elementary Schools this school year.
  • No waivers (K-5) will be accepted for Meriwether Elementary School.
  • All waiver students currently enrolled in an elementary school will be allowed to continue for the 2014-15 school year. A new waiver request form must be completed for final approval. A waiver request does not guarantee enrollment of siblings not currently enrolled.
  • Current Clarkmoor Elementary students, who reside in the Parkway housing area, will attend Hillside Elementary starting with the 2014-15 school year.
  • Boundaries were developed to define the residential areas on JBLM-North to a specific school of attendance (Meriwether or Beachwood). As such, students residing in the newly defined Beachwood attendance area will attend Greenwood Elementary School as a transitional school for the 2014-15 school year only.

If a student has special needs, the school assignment will be dependent upon where the special program is offered. For more information, please contact the special education department at 253.583.5170.

>>> The new attendance boundary map for Rainier Elementary on JBLM. Photo courtesy of Clover Park School Disrict

Kindergarten registration for the upcoming school year is open now. To enroll, kindergartners must be five years old by midnight on Aug. 31, 2014. For more information, go to cloverpark.k12.wa.us/Admin/Kindergarten.aspx. School offices will be closed in July so general student enrollment will resume the week of Aug. 4.

All of the relevant, revised school boundary maps can be found here.

By mid-July, parents may also visit the CPSD website and use the school/bus stop locator.

Additionally, each school has a complete list of addresses for its attendance boundaries. If you have questions contact your neighborhood school or the assistant superintendent of elementary schools, Othene Wade, at 253.583.5160.

June 12, 2014 at 9:35am

4-6 Squadron returns to JBLM; will soon inactivate

As his wife Ashley watches, Sgt. Nathaniel Prentice holds his daughter, Peyton, during the Welcome Home Ceremony for the 4-6 Attack Reconnaissance Squadron. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

Col. Daniel Walrath captured the moment nicely when he said, "A deployment is still a deployment."

About one hundred soldiers assigned to the 4th Attack Reconnaissance Squadron, 6th US Cavalry returned home to Joint Base Lewis-McChord yesterday afternoon from a nine-month deployment to South Korea.

The unit, generally referred to as the 4-6 Attack Reconnaissance Squadron, deployed to Camp Humphreys, South Korea with 30 OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopters.

The aviation unit operated in support of US 8th Army, 2nd Infantry Division and the 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade as the Army assumes more missions in the Asia-Pacific region in support of the service's strategic rebalance to that area of the world. 

The squadron will leave its aircraft behind after the deployment for use by the follow-on rotational unit.

It is the first of two groups to return; the rest will return early next week.

>>> Wyatt Van Hook straightens out a couple of chairs while awaiting the return of his father, Spc. Peter Van Hook. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

>>> Dylan Davis signals what his father, Capt. Kyle Davis, 4th Attack Reconnaissance Squadron, 6th US Cavalry, will be doing when he gets home from his rotation to Korea. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

But for the family members sitting in the stands at Soldiers Field House, the deployment was over.

"I am very excited he is coming home," said Alissa Van Hook as she waited for her husband, Spc. Peter Van Hook. 

"This was my first deployment, and fortunately the time he was gone went by faster than I thought it would, and that was good."

>>> CWO2 Joel Garzelloni is happy to be reunited with his wife Karrie, and his children Enzo and Eva. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

During the squadron's deployment, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced in February a proposal to phase out the Army's entire Kiowa fleet as a part of the 2015 defense budget and its emphasis on drawing down the force.

JBLM's Kiowa squadron is among the first in line to close down. 

The Kiowa, the smallest combat helicopter in the Army, is used for scouting, observation duty and light-attack missions.

Closing the 4-6 affects the 400 local aviators and support soldiers.  After the soldiers take post-deployment leave, they will either move on to new units or separate from the military.

But for a while on a beautiful, sunny day yesterday afternoon, the emphasis was on family and reunions.

"They've been gone for about nine months, and I think it's great these soldiers have family members waiting for them," pointed out Gary Steffensen, as he waited for his son, Staff Sgt. Samuel Steffensen.

"And we are proud of every one of these soldiers."

June 12, 2014 at 7:13am

Thursday Morning Joe: Fixing the VA, al-Qaeda returns, drones hit Taliban, Army laser, exercises at JBLM, world's biggest TV ...

Company G, 427th Brigade Support Battalion tosses a coffee during pre-mobilization. Original photo courtesy of the New York National Guard


U.S. drones fired missiles at Taliban hideouts in Pakistan killing at least 10 militants in response to a deadly attack on Karachi airport in the first such raids by unmanned CIA aircraft in six months.

On brink of disintegration: Another city falls in Iraq.

The al-Qaida-inspired group that led the charge in capturing two key Sunni-dominated cities in Iraq this week vowed to march on to Baghdad.

The return of al-Qaeda.

The Senate passed a bill Wednesday night that would allow appropriators to begin work on the 2015 Intelligence Appropriations bill.

The Veterans Affairs Department is, by many accounts, broken, and Congress has a lot of ideas to fix it.

The Senate overwhelmingly passed emergency legislation on Veterans Affairs Department health visits and administrator accountability, paving the way for the reforms to become law in a matter of days.

The House adopted an amendment to allow veterans to apply for food stamps while their disability claims are pending with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

After two overwhelming votes in two days, members of Congress say they are confident they can agree on a bill to improve veterans' health care and send it to the president's desk by the end of the month.

US House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor's stunning primary defeat is a huge blow to the US defense sector, and could allow an up-and-coming GOP deficit hawk to replace Cantor, or even become House speaker.

Hagel testified before lawmakers, answering anger-laced questions about the negotiated release of Bowe Bergdahl.

The House Appropriations Committee approved funding for 38 of the fifth-generation fighters - four more than the Defense Department requested.

How the Army should pivot to Asia.

The Air Force just copped to its secret stealth drone.

Program offers partially paid break from Army.

Army develops first-of-its-kind phase-coherent fiber laser array system.

Networking brings international training to JBLM.

A 3,000 gallons per minute reverse osmosis water purification unit and two 3,000 gallon water bags were used in support of the Quartermaster Liquid Logistic Exercise at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

NASA's real life Enterprise may take us to other star systems one day.

How a 3,000-car race would look if the Earth was the Moon.

The world's biggest TV can be yours for $1.7 million.

A new documentary tells the story of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Finally: Puff Daddy/Diddy/Sean Combs released a music video inspired by Game of Thrones.

Be careful when you fry a drone over a beach in Connecticut. ...

LINK: Original photo courtesy of the New York National Guard

June 11, 2014 at 7:00am

Wednesday Morning Joe: JBLM's future, Iraq's terrorists grow, Hagel hot seat, Dumb and Dumber To, Sloth Week ...

49th Military Police Brigade, California Army National Guard, tosses coffees down range during warrior task training at Camp Roberts, Calif. Original photo by Spc. Edward Siguenza


Straight Talk: Lt. Gen. Stephen Lanza discusses Joint Base Lewis-McChord, the community and the future.

Senate Dems breaking with White House over plan to leave U.S. troops through 2016.

Sunni insurgents from an al Qaeda splinter group closed in on Iraq's biggest oil refinery after seizing the northern city of Mosul in a devastating show of strength against the Shi'ite-led government. 

Iraq's terrorists are becoming a full-blown army.

US urges Iraqi unity to defeat violent insurgency.

Bowe Bergdahl Release: Expect pointed questions as Hagel takes the hot seat.

The president has come under criticism over the swap for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

Special Forces deaths fuel A-10 debate.

US House appropriators killed an amendment that would have kept alive the Air Force's A-10 fleet, becoming the first defense panel to endorse the service's cost-cutting plan.

Bonus pay is part of Air Force nuke reforms.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers closed another chapter in Afghanistan as the Transatlantic Afghanistan District's South Area Office was inactivated.

This Republican House majority leader Eric Cantor's loss ranks as the biggest Congressional upset in modern memory.

A House of Representatives panel voted for a 1.8 percent troop pay raise in fiscal 2015, though the boost is far from guaranteed.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said a bipartisan deal to overhaul the Veterans Affairs Department will soon hit the Senate floor.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk slams US Air Force certification process.

What the Army's new COIN manual is missing.

The Canadian government has vowed to significantly boost military capability in the Arctic, but after years of such promises, a major roadblock still stands in the way - money.

White supremacists are recruiting at Fort Carson, Colo.

Extremely rare photo of two armed F-16s escorting a Boeing Dreamliner.

NASA releases spectacular X-ray image of an entire spiral galaxy.

Motorcycle jumps over plane that's flying sideways close to ground.

Watch the trailer for Dumb and Dumber To.

Of Course: Morrissey canceled the rest of his tour.

So now Will Ferrell and Chad Smith have challenged Lars Ulrich to a drum-off ...

Lovely: This is a marriage proposal fit for a journalist.

Finally: Get ready for Sloth Week.

This just hurts to watch. ...

LINK: Original photo by Spc. Edward Siguenza

June 10, 2014 at 9:46pm

Straight Talk: Lt. Gen. Stephen Lanza discusses Joint Base Lewis-McChord, the community and the future

Lt. Gen. Stephen Lanza understands perfectly well the function of a town hall meeting.

"This brings us together," the commander of I Corps at Joint Base Lewis-McChord said this morning.

"Members from the business community, academia and local government are here," he said to the nearly 100 listeners.

Eagles Pride Golf Course at DuPont hosted the two-hour event. 

In a candid, clear and relaxed manner, Lanza talked about the trust the Army and JBLM have built with the local area and the sustainment of the force as the country faces uncertain economic times.

"We will sustain the trust we have built with this community," Lanza said.  "Forums like this build on that trust."


June 5, 2014 at 9:51am

Medal of Honor recipient Staff Sgt. Ty Carter discusses character at Lakes High School

Staff Sgt. Ty Carter, Medal of Honor recipient, spoke to social studies students at Lakes High School. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

The Lakes High School students sat and listened carefully to Staff Sgt. Ty Carter.

A Medal of Honor recipient, Carter talked about his life experiences in pointing out to his young audience the attributes of true character.

"I am no different than you," he began. 

Bringing Carter, who currently serves at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, to Lakes was the idea of Republican State Senator Steve O'Ban.

The majority of students attending acknowledged that they had a family member serving at JBLM.

O'Ban sponsored Senate Resolution 8713 to honor Carter's valor in Afghanistan was instrumental in bringing him to Lakes High School to give the students the opportunity "to meet a genuine hero and to learn from his life experience."

He also pointed out that Carter is the first Medal of Honor recipient to be honored by the legislature.

When Carter spoke, he did not disappoint.

At ease with the students as he paced back and forth across the stage, Carter briefly told them of his service in the Marine Corps and the Army.

Then he turned to his point - the value of character.

"You must understand what you do with your future," Carter stressed.  "You control what you do in your future."

>>> Staff Sgt. Ty Carter, recipient of the Medal of Honor, shakes hands with a Lakes High School student. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

At times he alluded to the Oct. 3, 2009 battle at Combat Outpost (COP) Keating in Afghanistan's Nuristan Province. 

More than 300 insurgents had surrounded the COP and the 53 soldiers stationed there.  Eight soldiers were killed; 25 were wounded, including Carter.

During the fight, Carter engaged enemy troops, resupplied ammunition to his fellow soldiers, rendered first aid and risked his life to save an injured soldier who had been pinned down by barrage of enemy fire.

"You work for and with each other," he explained at one point.  "Everyone has to work together," he added when asked about the fight.

Students soon engaged Carter with questions.  One question addressed an issue of concern to Carter.

Post Traumatic Stress.

"My goal is to remove the D from PTSD," Carter said.  "It's not a disorder. It's a normal human reaction to trauma."

Another question centered the wearing of the Medal of Honor.

Carter's answer is character revealed.

"It is a representation," he began.

"Behind it is every man who fought, behind it are the eight men who died and the Gold Star families.  And every time I make a mistake while wearing the medal I have insulted the memory of those who fought and died."

June 3, 2014 at 2:57pm

Farrelli's Pizza to install a new play set at JBLM's Fisher House

Farrelli's Pizza family, Fisher House staff and even Harmon Brewing Co. staff pictured at the Fisher House at JBLM. See caption below.

Farrelli's Wood Fire Pizza is all about family, and the popular local restaurant chain is doing its part to help military families living at the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Fisher House feel a little more at home.

In the next few weeks, volunteers from Farrelli's will install a new play set in the backyard of the home, which is located just down the street from the Madigan Army Medical Center on JBLM.

Since Fisher House families reside at the house while an ill or injured servicemember undergoes treatment at Madigan, it is understandably a very stressful time in their lives. They stay at the home from a few days to several months, and staff and volunteers do what they can to help make it a "home away from home."

There is a cozy living room complete with a TV, toys and books as well as a spacious kitchen, laundry facilities and backyard grill and gazebo area. There is also a beautifully landscaped garden and a fenced play area so the littlest residents can burn off some steam.

A few weeks ago, several members of the Farrell family and its management team visited the home to formalize a fundraising partnership with Harmon Brewing Company. While on a tour with Manager Jodi Land, they noticed that the play area in the backyard was in desperate need of new equipment.

The company - which in 2010 won the National Restaurant Association's National Neighbor Award - knew what it needed to do. "We saw an opportunity to lend a hand," said Clayton Krueger, Farrelli's director of marketing and communications.  So Margaret "Mama" Farrell went out and purchased a large new playground, which staff will install and assemble in the coming weeks.

"This new playground will give children staying at the Fisher House an outlet and an opportunity to get outside in a safe, secure environment," said Land. "The new equipment was badly needed, and we are thankful that the Farrell family not only donated the materials, but also that they are going to install and assemble it for us."

The family owned and operated restaurant chain, which started in Lacey in 1995 and caters to families, has always supported and honored its military neighbors. "The military is the glue that holds our community together," Krueger said. As a show of the company's appreciation to its military neighbors, service members returning from deployment get a free meal at both of the family's Farrelli's and MacNamara's restaurants.

To learn more about Farrelli's, visit farrellispizza.com. For more information about Fisher House, visit fisherhouse-jblm.org, call 253.964.9283 or stop by the home, located at 9999 Wilson Ave. on JBLM.


Jodi Land (Fisher House), Jesse Holder (Harmon Brewing Co.), Clayton Krueger (director of Marketing & Communications), Jacque Farrell (founder & COO), James Mickelson (director of Project Management & IT), Rob Rasmussen (director of Design & Promotion), Margaret Farrell (founder), Lizz Farrell-Lewis (director of Guest Satisfaction) and on the bottom row — John Farrell (founder)

May 31, 2014 at 11:39am

Special Olympics Report: Hangar of High-Fives at Joint Base Lewis McChord

I Corps commanding officer, Lt. Gen. Stephen R. Lanza, greets a Special Olympics Washington athlete at the opening ceremony May 30 at JBLM. Photo credit: Army Staff Sgt. Dayan Neely, 20th Public Affairs Detachment

Beginning today, about 2,800 participants from across Washington state will compete in the 41st annual Washington Special Olympics at Joint Base Lewis McChord. The opening ceremony of the three-day event took place last night in JBLM's Hangar 1. Army Staff Sgt. Dayan Neely with the 20th Public Affairs Detachment was at the ceremony. JBLM has been hosting the Special Olympics for more than 40 years, with sports like swimming, soccer, track and field, powerlifting, and cycling. According to Neely, "Lt. Gen. Stephen R. Lanza, I Corps commander, was a keynote speaker at the ceremony. Quoting the Seattle Seahawks' head coach, Pete Carroll, Lanza said, ‘If you wanna win for the rest of your life, you've gotta compete.' This set the tone for the athletes and supporters throughout the rest of the ceremony, which ended in celebrational dance to music provided by the I Corps band."

Below are the scenes Neely captured:

A young athlete competing in the Washginton Special Olympics extends high-fives to the supporting crowd as he and more than 2,800 athletes are welcomed to this year's SOWA games, May 30, 2014. Photo credit: Army Staff Sgt. Dayan Neely, 20th Public Affairs Detachment

A Wenatchee athlete extends high-fives to the supporting crowd. Photo credit: Army Staff Sgt. Dayan Neely, 20th Public Affairs Detachment

A young Federal Way athlete extends high-fives. Photo credit: Army Staff Sgt. Dayan Neely, 20th Public Affairs Detachment

A young athlete rides her father's shoulders as the supporting crowd cheers them. Photo credit: Army Staff Sgt. Dayan Neely, 20th Public Affairs Detachment

A young athlete lights the ceremonial torch to start the games. Photo credit: Army Staff Sgt. Dayan Neely, 20th Public Affairs Detachment

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News and entertainment from Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s most awesome weekly newspapers - The Ranger, Northwest Airlifter and Weekly Volcano.

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