Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

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October 13, 2014 at 1:59pm

Words and Photos: JBLM Bettie Brigade Halloween Bash

Brooklyn Deck Her channels her inner Trekkie and Miley Virus went, uh, viral at the JBLM Bettie Brigade Halloween Bash Oct. 18. Photo credit: Kim Thompson

Mother Nature was onto something in the South Puget Sound last Saturday.

The day started with boisterous thunder claps and gusty winds, followed by an area tornado warning (yes, really). Said tornado did appear in the form of a water spout off of Anderson Island to stunned locals. The finale? The clouds parted giving way to bright sunshine, glorious blue skies and mild temperatures. OK, it wasn't the finale. The finale came as small earthquake hit eight miles northwest of Olympia close to midnight.

Why the wild weather?

Mother Nature knew that the all-female, nonprofit roller derby team from the local military community, the JBLM Bettie Brigade, was about to converge for a raucous birthday bash and season kick-off party like no other at the Cheers Bar and Grill. "Given" names were tossed out the window in favor of beloved derby names only and the holiday Halloween theme was out in full force.

Of course, just like the unpredictable and wild weather, the Betties had a little wild weather of their own.

The first thunder bolt struck this very party. Through no fault of their own, the original venue for the party, abruptly bumped them from their longtime reservation, mere days prior. Ah, but those resilient Betties don't let THAT stop them. Toxic and Dis-Orient-Her, Bettie event planners, took the party elsewhere without a hitch.

And what a job they did! Creepy crawlers, skeletons, jack-o-lanterns and cobwebs covered the venue delightfully.

And then there was this totally rad, custom-designed celebratory cake, total derby style!

The music was pumping, the karaoke DJ was spinning, the drinks and grub were flowing and the costumes were nothing short of off the hook! Look at these!

Melicious Beast and hubby looking totally rad and hauntingly beautiful.

A modern take on the Big Bad Wolf in the form of Ill Will, Bettie coach!

Of course every big bad wolf needs a lil' red riding hood (in the form of Sgt. Severe).

It's peanut butter jelly time!

Bomb Diggityand hubby are natural-born cereal killers.

Lady Die, Princess of Wails, an unworldly, robotic mechanic!

Some serious derby voodoo doll magic!

As darkness sets in and the wind kicks up, the Betties are just getting started. Excitement for the new season and Bettie love was strong. When they say they are like family and they remain positive and resilient in the face of a challenge, BELIEVE them.

Lady Die, Princess of Wails, was chomping at the bit to join a roller derby team for five years. She found the Betties and has been skating for them since June; in her words, she couldn't have asked for any better. Her young daughter has also caught derby fever and has joined the junior league, the JBLM Bratz family. The love and support is contagious.

"This is the first sport that she's lasted more than a week," smiles Lady Die." It's given her more confidence, helped her build her strength and has been amazing for her."

For the Betties, the experiences seemed to center around "amazing" overall. And while the team faces some unique challenges, the season looks bright.

"Military teams are always a different team each season," explains Bomb Diggity. "There's a lot of people that have to move. This season, not many are moving away and we have some great new girls."

While the Betties totally get the challenges of functioning as a military community team and coping with moves, there's another challenge ahead of them that they meeting full steam ahead. The team's home rink, the Bettie Bunker facility in Lacey, is not going to be around for much longer. The team is going to need to move their practices and home bouts to a new facility. Returning to post isn't an option right now as that skating facility is under renovations.

The team is looking to find a new facility to rent.

Currently though, they are working out of a Tacoma rink; the digs are temporary and they are not ideal.

Yet, JBLM Bettie Brigade president, Annie Mae-Hem, while embracing the challenges, sees the positive side. They all do.

Mae-Hem doesn't mince words.

"It's a season of change. We know the changes of locations aren't easy for our athletes and our fans. The good news, with renting a rink, is that the newbies can have access to skates and our "borrow box"so they can try it out. It can be a big commitment to make equipment changes and purchases. This way, they can try it out and see if they like it first.

We are looking at spaces and options. We aren't married to any ideas."

And with that, Mae-Hem steps up on chair - dressed as actor Tom Cruise's character in the spirited and infamous celebratory underwear dance scene in the movie, Risky Business - and does an energetic toast to the Betties. The spirit in the room is electric.

Mae-Hem raises a toast to the Bettie family!

To really take the spirit further, Ms. Mae-Hem mightily took the mike in song and dance and whipped the Bettie family into an absolute frenzy.

Annie Mae-Hem channeling local music legend, Sir Mix-A-Lot, flawlessly. And instead of the donning the Risky Business tightie whities, Mae-Hem has Bettie-inspired skivvies. Perfection.

Here is one more photo to round out the night.

If you are interested in more about the Betties or lending a hand with a new space, visit and contact them at their site, bettiebrigade.com or visit them on their Facebook page.

Filed under: Military, Sports, Holidays,

September 10, 2014 at 8:52am

McChord Field honors National POW/MIA Recognition Day with a week of activities

National POW/MIA Recognition Day is Friday, Sept. 19.

National POW/MIA Recognition Day is Friday, Sept. 19, but at Joint Base Lewis-McChord - McChord Field the respects begin Sept. 15 at Memorial Grove and conclude Sept. 19 at The Club at McChord Field Ballroom. The annual recognition is to remember and honor those who have sacrificed so valiantly for their country.

The week of recognition starts at 11 a.m. with a wreath laying ceremony at McChord Field's Memorial Grove - honoring and paying respects to all POW/MIAs, past and present. If bad weather ensues the ceremony will be moved into the adjacent building.

Motorcyclists will gather at 11:30 a.m. Sept. 16 at Memorial Grove for their annual ride. Last year this was one of the more popular motorcycle rides in the Northwest. It presents a chance for veterans to meet new friends and renew acquaintances with old ones.

People looking for something more physically energetic can meet at 8 a.m. Sept. 17 for a 24-hour Memorial Run at the McChord Field Track. It's open to all members of the JBLM community. This is a fundraising event. For more information, call 253.982.3339.

The week of events winds up Sept. 19 for a POW/MIA luncheon at The Club at McChord Field Ballroom. RSVP required. For information, call 253.982.7161.

In Viet Nam, 2,338 military personal were originally listed as missing in action. Over the years some bodies have been identified leaving 1,875 military personnel still unaccounted for. It is a tradition for Americans to recover their dead but due to the difficult terrain in Viet Nam, bodies were often challenging to locate. Military personnel just yards apart often disappeared into the jungle and foliage.

Numbers of POWs were relativity small in Viet Nam given the size of the forces employed. The Vietnamese held 766 military personal in captivity, the largest number being pilots and crewmen downed over Hanoi. While in prisons, 114 died of wounds. The small number of captured was more a result of logistics rather than brutality. Guerilla forces, often moving fast and light, had no capacity to take prisoners and captives were often eliminated. 

Remembering MIAs and POWs has become a tradition. JBLM-McChord Field is proud to host the events.

September 8, 2014 at 4:20pm

446th Security Forces Squadron airmen impressive at Subway Beast Mode Challenge

Airman 1st Class Parker Gill (front left) and Senior Airman Kyle Knoblock (front right), both from the 446th Security Forces Squadron, surface from a mud trench during the 2014 Subway Beast Mode Challenge Sept. 6. Photo credit: Master Sgt. Minnette Mason

Marshawn Lynch, the Seattle Seahawks rugged running back, would have been on his feet, cheering and clapping.

Airman 1st Class Parker Gill, in his own Beast Mode fashion, overcame a strong challenge and a muddy, 3.5-mile obstacle course to win his wave at the Subway Beast Mode Challenge Saturday at Meadowbrook Farm near North Bend.

Senior Airman Kyle Knoblock, who along with Gill is with the 446th Security Forces Squadron, placed a muddy second in their wave. To win, Gill had to get over, under and through 12 football-themed obstacles that included hills, barriers, water, mud and sludge.

Gill, covered with mud from head to toe, held off his friend and strong field to place first. To even finish the muddy course, runners had to draw on their inner Beast Mode.

The muddy race was sponsored by Air Force Reserve recruiting and proceeds from the race went to Fam 1st Foundation, a program started in part by Lynch, the Seahawks hard-hitting running back whose nickname is "Beast Mode". The foundation's mission is to help put inner city youth out of trouble with the law and on a positive path. The foundation's goal is one of "empowerment and education aiming to build self-esteem and academic learning skills in underprivileged youth."

At the 3.5-mile muddy run challenge, the Air force Reserve recruiters were also on hand to answer questions about the Air Force reserves. The obstacles of the race included slides, walls, mud pits and water for runners to survive and get through.

Whether contestants were desk jockeys, taxi moms or average Joes, everyone had to draw on their inner Beast Mode to finish the race. It was an opportunity for contestants to come out and tear up an obstacle course meant to keep them from reaching the end zone. The muddy challenge couldn't stop Gill and Knoblock.

Gill had to rely on his inner Beast Mode so he could move faster, jump higher and survive the muddy course. And that inner strength is something every reservists draws on to get their job done. Every play, every game, Lynch gives it everything he has. And after a game he donates his time and money to raise awareness through his Fam 1st Foundation about the needs of inner city kids.

Lynch, who avoids interviews with sportswriters before and after games, lets his actions on the field speak for itself.

"I ain't never seen no talking win me nothin'," Lynch said.  

Lynch got the nickname Beast Mode because of his smash-mouth, hard-hitting running style he has with the Seattle Seahawks. Lynch was a first-round draft pick by the Buffalo Bills in 2007 and he became the Bills' first rookie in 30 years to rush for 1,000 yards in a season. Lynch graduated from the University of California as the Bears' second all-time leading rusher with 3,230 yards. 

Lynch partnered with Joshua Johnson, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' fifth-round draft pick in 2008 and later the backup quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, to start their foundation.

When asked by an ESPN reporter about why his foundation is important, Lynch said, "My city where the crimes is going on, it seems like the kids are getting younger and younger."

September 6, 2014 at 1:30pm

Armed Forces help Seattle Seahawks kick off the 2014-15 NFL Season

Washington National Guard receives high-fives before unveiling the Seattle Seahawks' new 80-foot Vince Lombardi Super Bowl banner. Photo credit: Gary Lott

The Seattle Seahawks are World Champions, and now, in part with the military's help, have the banners up in CenturyLink Field to prove it.

The team made the military an integral part of its NFL Kickoff celebration Thursday as members from each branch took part in the National Anthem and the Super Bowl banner presentation as well as reenlistment and promotion ceremonies.

"The Seahawks and our fans recognize the essential role and amazing service provided by America's military personnel," said Seattle Seahawks Community Relations Vice President Mike Flood. "We're proud to feature service members from all branches as we display the World Championship banner and begin the 2014 NFL season."

The amount of inquiries for support has increased significantly with the Seahawks' super success. However, the organization continues to involve the military throughout the year - even in one of the most popular games of the entire NFL season. In fact, support is increasing.

"That effort will continue every year because it's our opportunity and duty to give back," Flood said. "Our coaches, players and staff have a year-round dedication to partnering (with) service members and supportive causes."

>>> U.S. Navy member LCDR Jay Hyler shows off the Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl Championship Ring before his on-field promotion ceremony before the NFL Kickoff game against the Green Bay Packers Sept. 4. Photo credit: Gary Lott

>>> Sgt. 1st Class Paul Ballesteros is all smiles during his re-enlistment ceremony on the field of the Seattle Seahawks during their military pre-game celebration Thursday. Photo credit: Gary Lott

Flood and Seahawks Fan Development Assistant Director Armando Mejia lead the critical relationship between the Seahawks organization and the military. They work with bases throughout the Pacific Northwest to create new ideas every year, such as the 80-feet high Super Bowl banner, which was held by members of the Washington National Guard during the Seahawks NFL Kickoff game against the Green Bay Packers Sept. 4.

"It was really neat to see them unfold the Super Bowl banner in rehearsal, and it sent the message that we finally did it," said Spc. Josh Medford, JFHQ, 2-146 Artillery, Washington National Guard, prior to the game. "I've got a pretty critical role in the presentation, as I'm the one who grabs the flag by the top and walks it all the way down to the bottom."

>>> Fireworks burst into the sky as 50 members of the Washington National Guard hold a brand new 80-foot Vince Lombardi Super Bowl Trophy banner during the Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl celebration. Photo credit: Gary Lott

>>>Pop sensation Ariana Grande joins members of every service branch to sing the National Anthem before the Seattle Seahawks took on the Green Bay Packers. Photo credit: Gary Lott

Along with an on-the-field presence of the military this season, the Seahawks are also implementing a #SeahawksSalute campaign, which will feature photos of deployed service members demonstrating their "12th Man" spirit.

>>> Various members of military branches hold up a camouflage "12s" Flag during various military pre-game ceremonies. Photo credit: Gary Lott

The Seahawks organization is using the popularity of social media to enhance its connection between "12s" and the team, to include the military.

"One of our most recent programs is the Seahawks adopted military unit," Flood explained. "The Army was our first, in 2012, then the Air Force was last year, and now the Coast Guard will carry the football and "12 Flag" for 2014."

The selected unit participates in special team events and carries the "12 Flag" to locales worldwide throughout the season.

During the summer, the Seahawks made it a priority to bring the Vince Lombardi Trophy on the "Heroes of 12 Tour" to bases across Washington state, to include last year's adopted unit at the 446thAirlift Wing.

"We made it a point to begin the Lombardi Trophy tour at military bases to demonstrate our appreciation for the selfless service they give to America," Flood said. "It was a pleasure for us to see the smiles of thousands of service members at every base on the trophy visit."

A large part of the #SeahawksSalute program success relies on servicemembers.

Medford said the Seahawks Salute is both important and fun. Thursday's game was Medford's first Seahawks event, but he's done similar salute ceremonies for both the Sounders and Mariners.

A variety of military involved events took place throughout the NFL Kickoff game.

"During our break ... we actually got a chance to watch Pharrell during his rehearsal," said Medford.  "He actually came right over and gave us high-fives and posed in several pictures for us."

Entertainment wasn't the only thing taking place on the field before the big game, however.

Now Navy Lt. Comdr. Jay Hyler was promoted directly on the field before the game and even had the honor of having his daughter pin on his new rank.

"It was such an honor to have my daughter alongside of me while I get promoted," Hyler said. "It's her first game ever, and she even got to try on a Super Bowl Ring.  How amazing is that?"

Along with Hyler's promotion, Army Capt. Paul Ballesteros re-enlisted during the pregame ceremonies.

"This is my home state, so it means a lot to me to re-enlist indefinitely," said Ballesteros, who has been a Seahawks fan since wearing a Steve Largent jersey when he was only 5 years old.

"I feel great about this event," he added. "This shows me that the Seahawks work well with the Army by providing amazing opportunities for a homegrown soldier such as myself to do something like this."

It's hard to forget one's first-ever NFL game.  It will be especially hard for Tech Sgt. Matt McKenna, who's stationed on the McChord side of Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

It was his first Seahawks game, and he found himself standing only a few feet from pop sensation Ariana Grande while she performed the National Anthem.

McKenna recently received a Silver Star and a Bronze Star for his ground combat heroics in Afghanistan in 2012.

"It's incredibly humbling to receive this honor," he said of being awarded the medals. "It's really recognition of the team's work and combined efforts with the Army on one pretty tough day."

Stories such as McKenna's show the importance of supporting, showcasing and allowing the military to be a part of every Seattle Seahawks home game.

"We may not be able to touch everyone through Seahawks programs, but we will do our best to honor those who have given so much for the freedoms we enjoy," Flood said.  "We remain committed to dozens of programs that strive to help military personnel, veterans and their families."

August 18, 2014 at 6:06pm

Joint Base Lewis-McChord hosts Deuces Wild Triathlon

A rider rushes out of the transition area during the JBLM Deuces Wild Triathlon at Shoreline Park Aug. 16, 2014. Photo credit: Staff Sgt. Jennifer Spradlin

More than 175 athletes and challenge-seekers, civilian and military alike, gathered at Shoreline Park on Joint Base Lewis-McChord to tackle the JBLM Deuces Wild Triathlon Aug. 16.   

This year the triathlon event featured two distances, the sprint and Olympic, with individual and team categories. The race was split into a 500- or 1500-meter swim, a 14- or 25-mile bike ride, and a 5 or 10k run. 

"We hold these events as a fun, safe way to get the community involved and to offer a building block for those athletes looking to compete in officially sanctioned races," said Lizza Lockett, JBLM Morale, Welfare and Recreation intramural sports coordinator.

Locket said JBLM averages eight races per year, with a few extra races scheduled for this year, and that the feedback from the participants is always quite positive. She is hopeful that even more people from JBLM and the surrounding communities will come out to support the events.     

"The base has beautiful, natural scenery; for instance, the lake here, and bike routes that take you all over - people can discover things they didn't even know existed when they're participating in our events," she said.

>>> Participants in the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Deuces Wild Triathlon surface after a 500-meter swim at Shoreline Park at Lewis North on Aug. 16, 2014. Next up for these competitors was a 14-mile bike ride and a 5k run. Photo credit: Staff Sgt. Jennifer Spradlin

For 1st Lt. Andrew Webster, 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, the race was a reintroduction to a hobby he fell in love with while attending West Point.

"People are intimidated by triathlons because it's three different events, but really, I feel like they're not as challenging as they seem and more fun than you'd think. Once you actually complete one or two, it almost becomes addictive because you want to push yourself a little bit harder," said Webster. Webster won the sprint distance triathlon, finishing with a time of 1:06:49.

He said to train for a triathlon he did interval work in the pool, on the bike and on the track. He also combined longer bike rides with shorter distance runs to get his legs used to running after coming off the bike.

"[Triathlons] are a good tool to get yourself in better shape. With three different events, you can cross train and not wear your body down as much as if you were concentrating on one discipline," he said. "And it's a great way to spend a Saturday because you meet a whole bunch of people who have similar interests as you and get a workout in."

>>> Amanda Rodgers, of Kitsap County, participates in the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Deuces Wild Triathlon. Photo credit: Staff Sgt. Jennifer Spradlin

For others, it was their introduction to JBLM. Amanda Rodgers, a civilian athlete from Kitsap County, said it was her first race on a military installation, and that she enjoyed how the route took her past different military armament.

"A lot of people I know are either in the military or retired from the military, and they had done this race before, which is how I heard about it. I didn't know what to expect, but the bike route was really fun," said Rodgers. Rodgers, who is recovering from an injury, finished first in her age group for the sprint distance with a time of 1:13:22.

Rodgers said that she felt sometimes women assumed triathlons are more of a male sport, but she recommended female athletes interested in triathlons do research to find all-female training groups. She said races are also a great place to network and build community ties.

The next JBLM race is the Salmon Run & Bake Sept. 13 at McChord Field. To learn more about the race and to view the results of the triathlon, visit http://jblmmwr.com/races.

>>> 1st Lt. Andrew Webster, 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, races up a hill during the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Deuces Wild Triathlon at Shoreline Park at Lewis North on Aug. 16, 2014. Webster, a West Point grad, won the sprint distance event with a time of 1:06:49. Photo credit: Staff Sgt. Jennifer Spradlin

August 18, 2014 at 8:06am

5 Things To Do Today: Footgolf, indie film discussion, Velocity, Scattered Light ...

Footgolf can be played in approximately 90 minutes. Photo courtesy of prweb.com

MONDAY, AUG. 18 2014 >>>

1. Golf is an infuriating sport, that's why we have switched to FootGolf - a golf-style game that's not a sequel to the derp-filled fest that was the movie BASEketball. In the vein of disc golf, it replaces the tiny white ball and bag of expensive clubs with a soccer ball and our good kicking leg. Meadow Park Golf Course on the edge of Lakewood has an 18-hole FootGolf course with tee boxes, green bunkers, hazards and 21-inch diameter cups. The game scores just like a regular round of golf on stroke play and each full kick counts as one swing. Putting works the same way except our leg has to make a full motion no matter how close it is to the hole. Basically, if you can kick a golf ball in a fit of spittle-filled rage, you can easily pick up FootGolf.

2. Today is the last day the Olympic Flight Museum hosts the B-25 "Maid In The Shade" airplane. The B-25 Mitchell was made famous by the Doolittle Raiders, when 16 of these medium bombers took off the deck of the USS Hornet and bombed Tokyo just four months after Pearl Harbor. The B-25 served in both theaters of war in many roles from bomber to transport. After the war, it continued service best known for its role as a fire bomber.  The aircraft will be on display for the public, offering cockpit tours and ride, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

3. The Grand Cinema has been taking advantage of the simultaneously obvious and genius concept of taking Filmmaker Magazine's yearly list and turning it into a film festival celebrating rising talent. Actors, writers, directors, animators and other facets of filmmaking are honored by the magazine, and then in turn are celebrated during the five-day festival at The Grand Cinema. Read Rev. Adam McKinney's full feature on the 25 New Faces in Independent Film in the music and Culture section, then catch today's films, including a 6 p.m. roundtable indie film discussion with several filmmakers.

4. Saxophonist Cliff Colon, keyboardist Peter Adams, bassist Rob Hutchinson and drummer Brian Smith are known as Velocity, a jazz fusion and Latin funk band that will bring it at 8 p.m. in The Swiss.

5. Saxophonist John Croarkin's group, Scattered Light, returns the Rhythm and Rye club with more refracted sounds and musical sun salutations at 8 p.m. The quintet, plus vocalist LaVon Hardison and Olympia's tenor saxophonist Chuck Stentz , will be exploring a wide range of contemporary Brazilian grooves from composers such as Joyce Moreno, Dori Caymmi, Hermeto Pascoal, A.C. Jobim, Clare Fischer, Roland Kirk, Pixinguinha and Egberto Gismonti.

LINK: Monday, Aug. 18 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

August 15, 2014 at 11:11am

NW Military in the Outdoors Expo at Point Ruston

Saturday marks a chance to honor those who serve during downtown Tacoma's Celebrating Military Service parade ... but before the 6 p.m. festivities kick off, everyone is welcome to attend the 2014 NW Military in the Outdoors Expo along the Waterwalk at Point Ruston.

The planners behind the expo believe that the Northwest offers a wide array of employment and recreational activities outdoors, which can often be a great fit for active-duty servicemembers, veterans and their families.

"We are a group of folks who see the outdoors as a key part of the Northwest's identity," said Eric Lint, a member of the Military in the Outdoors team. "Our goal is to build awareness around the many unique opportunities for area veterans to integrate, stay active and continue their passions - or develop new ones."

The event, which will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 16, is free and open to anyone who wants to attend, whether they are civilians or military.

The expo will include opportunities to climb a rockwall or try out the skydiving simulator, learn more about college and certificate programs that focus on outdoor recreation and conservation and meet employers and nonprofits focused on working outside. Veterans and active-duty servicemembers can also learn more about the health benefits that the outdoors can offer after the military.

"The idea for this came to the organizers between different meetings aimed at bringing together some of the varied groups that support servicemembers, veterans and their families," he stated. "Our idea is to put into practice some of the objectives discussed in those settings - bringing together diverse partners working toward a shared goal."

Attendees can also learn about and build new skills with the Adventure Film School, which takes veterans on expeditions while teaching filmmaking as therapy, and several other vendors, to include Navy Fleet and Family Readiness, RallyPoint/6 and Team River Runner, which offers kayaking as therapy for wounded warriors.

"We're looking to do things a little differently. This isn't a job fair or transition seminar. It's a hands-on learning experience that we hope for many will open the door to the outdoors," Lint explained.

The NW Military in the Outdoors Expo is being put on by a coalition of veteran-supporting government entities and nonprofits, like the Sierra Club Military Outdoors, U.S. Forest Service, Washington National Guard, the City of Tacoma, and the Washington Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Conservation Corps/Vet Corps.

The event will specifically occur behind the new Copperline Apartments, 5005 Ruston Way. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/NWMilitaryOutdoors.

August 14, 2014 at 4:31pm

VetREST run in DuPont Saturday

When local runners don blue in DuPont Aug. 16, it will not only be about honoring those who have fallen, but also about raising funds for the men and women who have served and are suffering from post-traumatic stress.

That day the weekly wear blue: run to remember event will be teaming up with VetREST, a nonprofit dedicated to "helping veterans address their challenges and find peace from their hidden battles," which was founded by Maj. Gen. Daniel York.

VetREST finds veterans with PTS and then matches them with a coach who is prepared to help the veteran across all aspects of their life. However, coaching is only the first line of effort. VetREST also focuses on getting veterans involved with organic gardening, paired with companion dogs and, at the end of these modules, veterans receive recommendations for personal mentors to offer long-term guidance.

York, who still serves as an Army reservist, is a recreational runner and beyond the concept of the 501(c)(3) itself, he believed that organized races could be a way to fund this important work. So began Onaway Runs, which was created to manage a countrywide series of races to benefit VetREST. Onaway is a Chippewa word meaning "ready and alert" which York felt fit the tempo of the military and the goal of his nonprofit.

Presently, there are three VetREST chapters: in Portland, Oregon; Denver, Colorado; and San Diego, California. A fourth chapter is being developed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, which is why a race just outside those very gates made sense.

"We have a lot of connections through JBLM and then we learned about wear blue: run to remember.  We reached out to them to see about working together," said Brian MacArthur, race director for Onaway.

"The JBLM chapter of wear blue: run to remember is proud to support the VetREST race, as what they are doing for our United States Armed Forces is consistent with wear blue's overall mission of honoring the service and sacrifice of our American military," stated chapter co-presidents Rachel Elizalde-Powell and Curtis Brake. "The reality is that the war is not over for far too many just because they come back home."  

Registration will open that day at 8 a.m. in Powderworks Park and the run will begin at 9 a.m. All runners will be given a race T-shirt, water and energy bars prior to the run as part of the $45 entry fee. Following the race there will be an awards ceremony with medallions for top finishers.

"The event will be timed and conclude at 10 a.m., but this is primarily a group run, not a race," explained MacArthur.

A raffle for assorted prizes will also be held afterward; both spectators as well as runners are welcome to participate and purchase tickets. To register for the run in DuPont, go to http://bit.ly/1tCoCPH.

Following the run near JBLM in August, there will be runs in Boulder and Colorado Springs, Colorado, at the West Point Military Academy and then 2014 will conclude with a turkey trot in Belton, Texas, near Fort Hood.

"The goal is to make these annual events," said MacArthur. "In years to come we really want to turn this (in DuPont) into a larger-scale run."

For more on VetREST, visit www.vetrest.org

Filed under: Veterans, Sports, Benefits, Community,

August 12, 2014 at 3:24pm

17th Field Artillery Brigade and AUSA host Thunder Rumble 5K/10K in Tumwater

Capt. Tania Donovan of the 17th Field Artillery Brigade takes a few moments from her Thunder Rumble training to spread the word. ...

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - This year's 2nd Annual Thunder Rumble 5k/10k run will take place August 16, in Tumwater, Wash.

More than 200 participants, military and military supporters, hit the road last August to participate in the first Thunder Rumble 5k. 

The event is a partnership project between the 17th Field Artillery Brigade from Joint Base Lewis McChord and the Tumwater-Olympia Association of the United Stated Army Sub-Chapter. The run brings the community and our Soldiers together for a fun time in our hosting cities of Tumwater and Olympia. 

More than 350 participants are expected at this year's race which has been upgraded to a 5k and a 10k run. Both organizations look forward to the relationships built between the military community and both cities as a result of this event.

For more information about this year's Thunder Rumble 5k/10k please go to https://www.facebook.com/#!/ThunderRumbleRun where Soldiers, family and friends can register to participate in this year's event.

August 12, 2014 at 7:31am

Tuesday Morning Joe: Kurds turn tide, officially watching China, G-day Marines, Homeland returns ...

2nd of the 315th Battalion, 72nd Field Artillery Brigade, throw coffee pots during the 72nd FA Bde. Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year competition at Army Support Activity-Dix. Original photo by Ryan Morton


U.S. airstrikes helped, but Kurds from Syria turned tide against Islamic State.

Secretary of State John Kerry said today the United States doesn't plan to send additional troops to Iraq, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The United States has begun urgently shipping weapons to the Iraqi Kurdish forces battling an advance by extremist Islamic State militants.

The United States hopes the newly-designated Prime Minister of Iraq can form a cabinet quickly and build a united front against ISIS rebels, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday.

A Pentagon official said ISIS would be able to "sustain its attacks" on Iraqi forces.

Obama will be on shaky legal ground if he continues to attack ISIS, experts say.

U.S. Army parachute riggers at two bases in the Central Command area of operations are assembling pallets of food and water for humanitarian air drops in the vicinity of Sinjar, Iraq.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is confronting conflicting pressures at home and abroad over his government's prosecution of Operation Protective Edge, now in its 35th day.

A Russian convoy carrying humanitarian aid set off for eastern Ukraine, setting the stage for a confrontation with Kiev, which said it would not allow the vehicles to cross onto its territory. 

A tense standoff between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed separatists will be over within a week - and will decide whether "all-out war" begins in Eastern Europe, says a U.S. senator.

More research is needed on the health of the children and grandchildren of troops exposed to environmental pollution and chemicals while they served in the military, several U.S. senators say.

Congress added language to the 2015 defense budget requiring the Pentagon to assess and confront Chinese military expansion.

Despite delays, new U.S. Navy sub headed for on-time delivery.

The United States and Australia are expected to sign an agreement today that will pave the way for 2,500 U.S Marines to rotate through the continent.

Army Vice Chief: Never forget where we put our soldiers.

A 32-year-old active Navy SEAL is hoping to earn a spot on Northwestern University's football team.

Robin Williams, an improvisational genius, forever present in the moment.

After roles in blockbusters such as Iron Man, Fahim Fazil decided to work as a translator for the U.S. Marines in Helmand Province.

These flying machines created by Daniel Agdag make us think of those designed by Leonardo Da Vinci in the 15th century.

Every single Alfred Hitchcock cameo in one video.

So it seems we can now pay a restaurant bill with our phones ...

The Daily Show launched a behind-the-scenes podcast.

Homeland will return Oct. 5 with a two-hour premiere.

Finally: 25 lessons learned from Pee-wee's Big Adventure.

Time to exercise your face ...

LINK: Original photo by Ryan Morton

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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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