Northwest Military Blogs: Army West Blog

November 17, 2017 at 3:05pm

Direct2Apprenticeship: Learn more about apprenticeship programs

A Direct2Apprenticeship networking event was held back in May 2017 for attendees to learn more about the many apprenticeship opportunities available to them and more. Photo credit: Paul Cruz, WDVA

Transitioning servicemembers and veterans interested in learning more about apprenticeships, specifically construction industry apprenticeships, are invited to the upcoming Direct2Apprenticeship event being held on Camp Murray from 9 a.m. until noon, Nov. 28.

This event provides an opportunity to hear from a multitude of employer panelists, to hear more about GI Bill benefits in apprenticeships, and to look at what industry-specific employment opportunities are available.

These Direct2Apprenticeship events partner attendees with training directors, employers and apprenticeship coordinators from construction industries in Washington State with the common goal of getting veterans employed.

Partnership is primary for success in the Direct2Apprenticeshp program.

"Partnership is at the heart of the success of this program," said Washington Department of Veterans Affairs Employment Track Program Specialist Rachel Roberts. "Without the support of other state agencies, the interest from employers to employ veterans, and support agencies willing to help fund and coordinate events, this program would not have the ability to meet the needs of veterans and transitioning servicemembers."

Hearing from various industry experts and employers can be an influential advantage for attendees, as well as a way to test out the water with a deep dive of information before fully committing.

"Direct2Apprenticeship events have been successful in getting veterans and transitioning servicemembers directly into several apprenticeship programs," said Roberts.  These events also better educate and inform servicemembers about the benefits they've earned and how to properly apply to apprenticeships."

This specific Direct2Apprenticeship program will focus on the construction industry.

"The Construction Direct2Apprenticeship is structured as both an information session and a job fair," said Roberts. "The first half of the event consists of speakers talking about what is an apprenticeship and how the GI Bill works with apprenticeships."

After the speakers portion of the event, a panel board will be held, consisting of some of the larger employers in the local area, as well as representation from various trades and city representatives.

"The room will then be setup for a speed networking event, where attendees will talk with various apprenticeship programs for about three to five minutes and then rotate to the next program," said Roberts.  "The goal is for all attending servicemembers to talk with every employer/apprenticeship coordinator present, allowing them to better understand all the opportunities for employment through apprenticeships in Washington State."   

Direct2Apprenticeship events are not just based around construction either.

"Apprenticeships are available in many industries outside of construction and they are growing at a very fast rate," added Roberts. "Other industries with available apprenticeships include aerospace manufacturing, information technology, safety, cosmetology and culinary, while other industries, such as banking, claims, nursing, clean energy and human resources are looking at adopting the apprenticeship model."

If nothing else, the Direct2Apprenticeship event will serve as an updated information session on different ways to utilize the GI Bill, as many servicemembers are unaware that they can use their GI Bill for an apprenticeship.

"If the servicemember chooses to use their Post 9/11 GI Bill, it will pay 100 percent of whatever they were allocated when they transitioned for the first six months/1,000 hours," added Roberts. "Every six months after, or 1,000 hours worked, the GI Bill will decrease by 20 percent, as the GI Bill continues to decrease as pay increases."

Direct2Apprenticeship events fall under Governor Jay Inslee's Washington State Military Transition Council (WSMTC).

Governor Inslee and Washington State Department of Veteran Affairs (WDVA) remain committed to transitioning servicemembers and the veteran community in Washington State, which is why they have created the WSMTC.

"This council is focused on supporting our transitioning military community into the Washington State economy through living wage jobs," said Roberts. "A third, to a half, of those transitioning from the local bases stay in Washington State."

The Direct2Apprenticeship program helps to create a well-trained workforce that is ready to bring impactful attributes and skillsets into Washington businesses with one of the council's objectives focused on promoting state registered and GI Bill approved apprenticeships.

"Most servicemembers don't realize the amount of industries utilizing apprenticeships as a training development and recruitment model for their business,' added Roberts. "These are living wage jobs that increase the pay rate every 1,000 hours of work, until a journeypersons wage is reached."

Direct2Apprenticeshp events are informative ways for transitioning servicemembers to network directly with numerous unions, non-unions, employers, and others.

"The ability to network in your industry of choice, in the state you plan on transitioning into, is key to a smooth and successful transition from service," said Roberts. "You can learn a whole new marketable skillset with a mentor alongside you teaching you the tradecraft."       

To learn more about upcoming Direct2Apprenticeship events and/or to register for the Nov. 28 event, please contact Rachel Roberts at or visit

November 17, 2017 at 3:00pm

My experience as an intern

In May 2017, Veterans Conservation Corps and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration intern, Barney Boyer, is seen sampling juvenile salmon in the Qwuloolt Estuary. Photo courtesy NW Indian Fisheries Commission

Note: Barney Boyer recently served as an intern for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) at the Northwest Fisheries Science Center. Boyer assisted biologists there with several different research projects that have wild Pacific Northwest salmon conservation as priorities. During his internship, he gathered environmental data and conducted surveys in the Snohomish and Elwa estuaries to identify the behaviors of wild fish populations in the Pacific Northwest.

Boyer began his journey to the Northwest Fisheries Science Center as an airman in the United States Air Force. After three years as a civil engineer in the 49th Fighter Wing, he began his civilian life as an operations manager for Hilton International and Compass Group.  While working with the public in Chicago and Seattle, Boyer found himself fielding questions from consumers about the food and ingredients used in his operations along with other questions about where specific food comes from, its cultivation and harvesting processes, and its level of sustainability.  Answering these questions, and working closely with growers and processors, helped him better understand how the anthropogenic processes affect the environment.

After taking college courses in Natural Resources Management, he found himself on the road into further academia, this time at the University of Illinois. Boyer's experience and interest in Pacific Northwest salmon as a recreational angler led him to frame his undergraduate research around the resident Pacific Northwest salmon of the Great Lakes. After graduating, he moved back to the Seattle area and joined the Washington State Veterans Conservation Corps (VCC). This relationship led to an internship with NOAA and the Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Mukilteo, where he successfully assisted biologists and ecologists in the field and conducted lab research in conservation efforts of the Pacific Northwest salmon.

I started my internship at NOAA through an introduction with Jeremy Grisham, who was the program manager for VCC internships. I was chosen for the internship program after a short interview process.  Grisham then introduced me to salmon conservation research biologists Casey Rice, Jason Hall, Anna Kagley and Joshua Chamberlin at the Mukilteo Science Center as well as VCC Internship Program managers Kim Pham and Sandor Saligi, who have been by my side throughout the internship process.

Soon, I was out in the field riding on an NOAA research vessel with federal biologists learning about the ecology of salmon in the Pacific Northwest. I learned how to execute sampling of threatened species catching fish in the estuaries and near shore areas of Puget Sound watersheds. I learned how to catch fish, identify and measure them, and how to use data sheets. I learned about habitat monitoring. I also worked in the Snohomish Estuary and learned how to track sediment deposition using various instruments. Soon I was entering research data into spreadsheets and building graphs and figures to explain the data using Excel and statistical software.

I expressed to my mentors at NOAA that I wanted to use my internship as a stepping stone toward a career. I expressed an interest in taking on my own research project, the possibility of getting a peer-reviewed article published, and moving on to graduate school when my internship was over. Everyone was extremely helpful and excited to help me accomplish something great. We were soon discussing topics of interest and available data that we could use for an analysis.

Currently, I am finishing my last few months as an intern here at NOAA. I have learned many new skills, provided analysis for a research project for Island County and executed many hours of field research and data collection. I have learned to drive research vessels and use various types of software and instruments related to field research.  I am also in the final leg of completing a research paper about how seasonal temperature anomalies of the Snohomish Estuary affect abundance and distribution of non-indigenous warm water sunfish, which will be ready for peer review in the coming weeks. Furthermore, I have recently been offered a research assistantship and full tuition waiver at Grand Valley State University to complete my Master's Degree in Fisheries Biology. This was only made possible through the experience I gained here with the VCC and the NOAA. This has really been the experience of a lifetime, and it has catapulted me into a brand-new career. I could not be more excited.

To learn more about VCC Internships and how to apply, please contact the Veterans Conservation Corps Internship coordinator Kim Pham at

November 17, 2017 at 7:37am

Shop at First World to save the environment

Paper has been a part of most recycling programs for more than 30 years, and yet it is still one of the most common items found in the garbage. 24 million tons of paper was thrown in the garbage in the U.S. in 2012.

As a company First World will convert the following paper products into usability products: Office paper, copy paper, construction paper, newspaper, cardboard, mail/junk mail, envelopes, paper bags, cereal and cookie boxes, frozen food boxes, juice boxes, and milk and juice cartons, other paper products and cardboard.

Every year approximately 150,000 tons of paper and 4 million trees are used in the production of the greeting card industry alone. Our goal is to help minimize the amount of paper being wasted and save millions of trees.

Our jute material tote bags and jute paper craft cards are made of 100% organic cotton, and paper products are made from 100% post-consumer recycled paper. As a practice we design products that minimize waste, where processing emits 25-50% less greenhouse gasses during manufacturing than paper made with chlorine bleach. All of our printing is done with non-toxic vegetable-based ink. We believe in the quadruple bottom line: people, our planet, profit, and social environmental justice.

See First World here.

November 17, 2017 at 7:22am

Job Alert: Help seniors get around

If you are interested in helping seniors regain their independence, join the Envoy America team. They are currently hiring for the following positions:

Full And Part Time Drivers

They are currently hiring Driver Companions in all states. Please click here for the application.

All positions are for Independent Contractors, working your own schedule, using your own vehicle - click here.

November 16, 2017 at 1:37pm

Concordia University Irvine honors fallen alum, Staff Sgt. Matthew Thompson

This Veterans Day, members of Staff Sgt. Matthew Thompson's 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) team unveiled a plaque at the Staff Sgt. Matthew Thompson Veterans Resource Center at Concordia University Irvine in California honoring Thompson's service as a graduate of the school.

Thompson, then 28, died Aug. 23, 2016 of wounds after an improvised explosive device exploded while on a foot patrol in Helmand province, Afghanistan. Thompson met his wife, Rachel, at Concordia University and spoke to her two nights prior letting her know that he was about to go on a dangerous mission. He told her he loved her and everything would be okay.

"Matt loved what he did," said Capt. Brian Walsh, Thompson's team leader in the 1st SFG (A). "He was a brother to all of his teammates, and as a medic, had a true passion for taking care of his brothers both physically and emotionally. In his career as a Green Beret, he pursued his love of medicine, shooting, and mountaineering to the point of mastery, so that he could teach others."

"Matt was one of the medics on the detachment, and I was impressed with his medical knowledge and his eagerness to learn all the other skills required of him as a Special Forces soldier" said Thompson's former assistant team leader Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jacob Marker, 1st SFG (A). "Matt was one of the best soldiers that I ever had the privilege of serving with, and he was one of the best people I have ever known. My life is better for having known him, and he will never be forgotten."

The President of CUI, Dr. Kurt Krueger, spoke about Thompson at the event. "We believe Matthew Thompson is an American hero who gave his life in service to his country so that we may continue to enjoy the freedoms so important to us all," he said.

Thompson's parents attended the event all the way from Milwaukee, Wis. His father, Mark, spoke on behalf of the family, honoring Matthew's commitment to his faith and how he strived to live as both a good Christian and soldier. "You can always find something positive to be thankful for," he said remembering Thompson's positive outlook.

Thompson, who grew up in Brookfield, Wisconsin, graduated from CUI with a Bachelor of Arts in theological studies in December 2010. As a CUI student, he was a competitive swimmer and he hosted a bible study group. After graduating from college, he traveled to East Africa and helped start a nonprofit organization for homeless boys in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya. He enlisted in the Army in March 2011.

In August 2014, Thompson was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 1st SFG (A) at Joint Base Lewis-McChord as a Special Forces Medical Sergeant. He deployed in support of Operation Inherent Resolve in December 2014 and then to Afghanistan in June 2016.

Thompson's awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Medal, the Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon (Numeral 2), the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon, the Basic Parachutist Badge, and the Special Forces Tab. Thompson was posthumously awarded the Combat Infantry Badge, Bronze Star Medal with "V" device, and the Purple Heart.

November 11, 2017 at 6:39am

JBLM Green Beret uses military training to save civilian's life

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. -- Every day provides an opportunity to help someone else. Sometimes this is in small ways, and sometimes this is in large ways. Staff Sgt. Matt Grantham, 2nd Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), completed a small act that impacted a stranger in a large way.

Grantham displayed the core Army value of selfless service on October 29th, 2017. As he was pulling into his parking lot, he saw two people crouched over a man. The woman was holding a ripped piece of t-shirt to a man's arms. Grantham knew something didn't look right, so he stopped to help.

Realizing really quickly that the patient had a laceration and a possible arterial bleed, Grantham immediately took over applying pressure and went into his assessment of the wound as he was trained to do in the Army.

"I could tell the man needed help," Grantham said. "Once I realized he was going to bleed out, my military training kicked in and I didn't even think about what I was doing."

Grantham instructed the patient's brother to get Grantham's aid bag out of his truck so he could stop the bleeding. Then he applied a tourniquet and trauma dressing to the laceration.

Grantham remained with the man and kept him calm until Emergency Medical Services arrived on scene. The EMS that responded were not equipped with a tourniquet, and said that the patient was lucky that Grantham saved his life.

An official for Thurston County said when they arrived on scene, the patient was in stable condition due to Grantham's actions. "It's always good to see someone from our military that has medical training step up to help a civilian in need," a county spokesman later said.

"Matt is a consummate professional, and we are very proud of him," said Command Sgt. Major Daniel Orosco, 2nd Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne). "His actions that day are a testament to his ‎leadership, training, and compassion for others. He embodies the professional spirit of the Green Beret."

November 9, 2017 at 11:18am

Guard's Youth Academy honored by FEMA

Cadets learn mass casuality skills as part of CERT. Photo credit: Washington Youth Academy

The Washington Youth Academy was honored in September for its efforts to train each and every cadet with critical preparedness skills they can take with them back to their home communities.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency gave an honorable mention to the Youth Academy in its national Individual and Community Preparedness Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Youth Preparedness.

To date, 835 cadets have completed Community Emergency Response Team training. This year, the Puget Sound Energy Foundation provided grants to the Washington Youth Academy Foundation for the purchase of Community Emergency Response Team kits to give to the cadets when they go home. By giving all of the cadets Community Emergency Response Team training, the Youth Academy is turning them into preparedness ambassadors for their own communities.

"We're getting our young people to be leaders in their community," the application for the honor states. "They might not use this training every day, but if we get a major earthquake or even a storm event, we think they'll be able to figure out what to do, to be there to help. Before this, most of these cadets have never even held a fire extinguisher or understood the basics of first aid. As a final test of their CERT training, the cadets conduct a mass casualty drill and practice what they've learned -- some cadets practicing as injured, while others demonstrate search and rescue skills."

Empowered youth can help engage their families, their peers and their communities in disaster readiness. Youth are empowered through understanding of risks and knowing protective actions, per the National Strategy for Youth Preparedness Education.

Trainers from CERT teams in Pierce County and Kitsap County helped do the initial training. Lately, though, the program has been self-sustaining with cadre going through specific training so then they can pass on that knowledge back to the cadets.

The program was highlighted in an Evergreen Magazine article back in 2016.

Cadet Amanda Torres, of Yakima, noted in the article that she hadn't ever thought of emergency kits before the CERT training. Now, non-perishable items like canned goods and bottled water are something she actually thinks about.

"Now I know how to use a fire extinguisher," she added. "I never had to use one before, but it's pretty easy. There were some pretty important lessons we learned here that we can take with us after graduation."

The program began as a pilot with just a few cadets back in cycle 2014-2 when Washington Youth Academy Director Larry Pierce was brainstorming with WYA Programs officer Patrick Cruz on ways to help the preparedness mission outlined by Maj. Gen. Bret D.  Daugherty, the adjutant general in charge of the Washington Military Department, including the Youth Academy. Every cadet has been trained since cycle 15-1.

Cruz credited the cadre and the cadets for taking preparedness seriously and getting everyone on board.

"Besides CERT training and CPR training, our cadets also embrace community service, donating many hours of service to their community," Pierce said. "The last cycle, for instance, donated 7,992 hours of community service to the local area, which included creating care packages for the needy."

November 8, 2017 at 11:12am

Congress committee wants 2.4% raise for troops

WASHINGTON – A key panel of House and Senate members have reached a deal on the massive defense bill, pushing forward a nearly $700 billion plan to boost pay raises for servicemembers, fund new ships and aircraft, as well as increase missile defense.

Among the funding efforts in the defense budget for fiscal year 2018 are a 2.4 percent pay increase for servicemembers, extension of necessary pay and bonuses to help with retention and costly repairs for two Navy ships that encountered deadly crashes during the summer. But it passes on a plan to create a new Space Corps, according to senior aides of the Senate and House Armed Services committees who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The proposed budget also funds an increase in the number of servicemembers in the military from fiscal year 2017.

The plan “builds on the strong bipartisan support in both the House and Senate,” a senior Armed Services committee staffer said.

Though the plan has overcome several hurdles already, an approval by a congressional conference committee now sends it for a vote in both chambers and a budget fight on how to fund the major increase in military spending.

The bipartisan deal for the defense bill, known as the National Defense Authorization Act, was revealed Wednesday by senior aides of both Armed Services committees.

There are plenty of challenges ahead, however.

The proposed defense budget, which now totals $699.6 billion, surpasses budget caps of $549 billion for defense spending and will require new congressional action to be enacted. Without it, the effort could trigger automatic, across-the-board budget cuts.

The budget also passed on some proposals, declining on a House plan for the creation of Space Corps, a new military service that would be an arm of the Air Force.

The idea drew opposition along the way from several key figures, including Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. The Senate, in their opposition, went as far as including language in their bill prohibiting a Space Corps.

The U.S. Capitol.

Now, under Wednesday’s deal, the bill directs for the study of the creation of a Space Corps.

The study will “look at the long term prospects of creating a military department” for Space Corps, the committee staffer said.

The defense bill also directs for the funding of repairs to the USS Fitzgerald and the USS John S. McCain.

Both ships were badly damaged in separate, deadly crashes that left 17 sailors dead.

The overall boost in military funding request comes in the wake of a deadly year for the U.S. military when it comes to readiness and safety concerns.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said during the bill’s previous debate on the Senate floor that 185 servicemembers have died in military accidents in the last three years.

“We are killing more of our own people in training than our enemies are in combat,” McCain said during the September debate.

Wednesday’s defense budget deal also incorporates, if not goes above, several requests from President Donald Trump’s administration to boost defense funding.
On Monday, Trump asked to boost his original military funding request made earlier this year. In that amended plan, the president increased an earlier 2018 defense budget request by allocating an additional $4 billion for missile defense, $1.2 billion for the administration’s new Afghanistan strategy and another $700 million for Navy ship repairs.

The new missile defense funding will address an increasing threat from North Korea, Trump had said.

November 8, 2017 at 5:53am

2017 Veterans Day Events in the Puget Sound area

When the air begins to cool and the leaves begin to change colors, we know that fall has arrived. It is many people’s favorite time of the year because of the holidays and how it brings families together. Some holidays are meant to stop us and take a moment in our busy lives to reflect on what others have done for us. Many people celebrate and honor veterans all year long but one day a year is set aside for our nation to come together to recognize those who have valiantly served our country. Veterans Day, formerly known as Armistice Day, became a nationally recognized holiday beginning in 1938. Joint Base Lewis-McChord and the surrounding communities always embrace Veterans Day and find ways to give back and celebrate our veterans. Here are some of the events that will be taking place in the Puget Sound area.

VeteransAppreciationDays. The Northwest Trek Wildlife Park and Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium will be honoring all veterans by offering free admission to the facilities. Family members will receive half-off general admission. Nov. 10-12. For more information, please visit or

TahomaNationalCemeteryVeteransDayCeremony. Saturday, Nov. 11, 11 a.m., free. This event will include keynote speaker George Rossman, former mayor of Enumclaw and a U.S. Army veteran of the Korean War. This year’s theme is, “Saluting our Korean War Veterans.” Guest speaker Mark Daigneault, the last remaining original staff member prior to the opening of Tahoma, will also be on hand. This event will honor all military members who have served or are currently serving our nation and will include a flyover by the Historic Flyover Foundation at 11 a.m. The event will be located at the Tahoma National Cemetery Main Flag Pole Assembly area.

VeteransDayCeremonyattheCapitol. Saturday, Nov. 11, 11 a.m., free. The Thurston County Veterans Council will be presenting this special event at the Capitol Rotunda. World War II veteran, Fred Parker, of the 39th Bomber Group, will be presented with a special flag that was flown at Omaha Beach during WWII. Judge Brett Buckley of the Thurston County Veterans Court and a senior officer from Joint Base Lewis-McChord will be guest speakers. Musical entertainment will be provided by The American Legion Band. 416 Sid Snyder Ave. SW, Olympia. For more information, please call Bill Doucette at 360.701.3242.

LakewoodVeteransDayCeremony. Saturday, Nov. 11, 2-3 p.m., free. The City of Lakewood will be commemorating JBLM’s 100th anniversary with a Veterans Day ceremony. U.S. Congressman Denny Heck, 10th Congressional District, will be hosting along with other community leaders. 6000 Main Street SW, Lakewood.

AVeteransPilgrimageAJourneyofRemembrance,ReflectionandPrayer. Saturday, Nov. 11, 10 a.m. to noon. This Veterans Day event is open to the public and all veterans are invited to attend. Also, be sure to bring a token or icon with you to the service. Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral, 1245 10th Ave. E., Seattle. For more information, please contact Deacon Brian Wright at 206.325.4200.

VeteransDayCelebrationattheWashingtonStateHistoryMuseum. Saturday, Nov. 11, 2 p.m. During the Washington State History Museum’s Veterans Day Celebration, guests will learn about how the United States entered The Great War a hundred years ago in 1917. Renowned Northwest historian Lorraine McConaghy will provide an in depth look into this period of time. 1911 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 253.272.3500.

52ndAnnualVeteransDayParadeandObservance. Saturday, Nov. 11, 11 a.m. The City of Auburn is proud to be designated as a regional site for the celebration of Veterans Day. The parade will honor the country’s veterans and active-duty personnel. This celebration will include over 200 units and well over 6,000 parade participants, including several high school marching bands. The parade will also feature military vehicles, veterans’ units, honor guards, and so much more. The parade route will travel along Main Street from E Street to A Street SW/NW. Several other Veterans Day activities will follow the parade. For more information, please visit:

VeteransDayCeremony. Saturday, Nov. 11, 11 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. The University of Washington Seattle Campus will be hosting a Veterans Day Ceremony and Reception. The ceremony will include recognition of the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Veteran Award recipient, guest speakers, as well as the presentation of the colors. Special performance by the Husky Band as well. The ceremony takes place at the Medal of Honor Memorial at the Seattle Campus. The reception will be held in the Walker-Ames Room in Kane Hall on campus. For more information, please visit:

Other events and observances:

2017 Veterans Day Assembly, Thursday, Nov. 9, 8:30 a.m., Steilacoom High School, 54 Sentinel Drive, Steilacoom

26th IAWP Veterans Day International Association of Workforce Professionals, Thursday, Nov. 9, noon, WWII Memorial, Capitol Campus, Olympia, 360.902.9476

Washington Soldiers Home, Saturday, Nov. 11, 2 p.m., Chilson Hall, Orting Veterans Home,

Veterans Day Concert, Saturday, Nov. 11, 2 p.m., Benaroya Hall, Seattle, 206.417.5677

Thurston County Veterans Council, 10:30 a.m., music 11 a.m., Capitol Rotunda, Olympia

November 7, 2017 at 11:29am

Veterans Day freebies for the military

Pictured: Lunchbox Laboratory

Many restaurants and retailers are offering Veterans Day discounts or free meals to servicemembers and veterans. Some offers even extend to family members.

National Parks and Army Corps of Engineers recreation areas are waiving entrance fees for veterans, servicemembers and their families Nov. 11-12 for the latter, and Nov. 11 for the former.

Most commercial establishments require proof of military service such as a military ID card or current leave and earnings statement, a driver’s license with veteran’s designation, DD 214 discharge paperwork, a veteran’s organization card or a photograph in uniform.

Many of the companies offering deals are franchises, and officials recommend checking ahead to verify participation of specific locations, along with dates and times of the offers.

The following list was primarily compiled by military community services staff members and does not claim to be all-inclusive:

Applebee’s Veterans Day Free Meal, Saturday, Nov. 11

Olive Garden Veterans Day Free Meal, Saturday, Nov. 11

Chili’s Veterans Day Free Meal, Saturday, Nov. 11

Denny’s Veterans Day Free Grand Slam, Friday, Nov. 10

Golden Corral Veterans Day Free Meal, Monday, Nov. 13

Red Lobster Veterans Day Free Appetizer or Dessert, Saturday, Nov. 11

TGI Fridays Veterans Day Free Lunch, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 11

Red Robin Veterans Day Free Meal, Saturday, Nov. 11

IHOP Free Veterans Day Pancakes, Friday, Nov. 10

Outback Steakhouse Free Bloomin’ Onion & Beverage, Saturday, Nov. 11

Dunkin’ Donuts Veterans Day Free Donut, Saturday, Nov. 11

Famous Dave’s Veterans Day Free Meal, Saturday, Nov. 11

Buffalo Wild Wings Veterans Day Free Wings & Fries, Saturday, Nov. 11

Chuck E. Cheese Free Veterans Day Pizza, Saturday, Nov. 11

Sizzler Veterans Day Free Lunch, until 4 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 11

Little Caesars Pizza Free Veterans Day Pizza, Saturday, Nov. 11

Menchie’s Veterans Day Free Frozen Yogurt, Saturday, Nov. 11

Hooters Veterans Day Free Meal, Saturday, Nov. 11

Black Angus Steakhouse Special Steak Meal, until 3 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 11

Lunchbox Laboratory Veterans Eat Free on Veterans Day, Saturday, Nov. 11

Non restaurants:

Brown Bear Car Wash Free “Bear Essentials” Car Wash, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 11

Cabela’s Hometown Heroes 5% Military Discount, Saturday, Nov. 11

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium Free Admission, Friday–Sunday, Nov. 10-12

Washington State Parks Free Admission, Saturday, Nov. 11-24

Woodland Park Zoo Free Admission, Saturday, Nov. 11

Lemay America's Car Museum Free Admission, Saturday, Nov. 11

Classy Chasis Free Car Wash, Saturday, Nov. 11

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