Northwest Military Blogs: Army West Blog

Posts made in: 'Education' (30) Currently Viewing: 1 - 10 of 30

June 22, 2013 at 1:56pm

Video: How military vote in Washington state

U.S. Air Force photo: Tech. Sgt. Raheem Moore

Every November, thousands of soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines take a moment while on the "Frontlines of Freedom" and ponder what the hell is happening back home during Election Day. Many of those serving our nation in uniform will have gone through the complicated process of registering to vote from overseas, navigated the confusing and time consuming twists and turns necessary to obtain an absentee ballot, and then gone the extra mile to mail that ballot back to their home state. Some servicemembers will skip the process due to a number of reasons, including a lack of knowledge of the procedures.

In Washington state, the Office of the Secretary of State is trying to make it easier for military living in the state to vote. It has created a nifty video aimed at educating military members on the process.

The video discusses the history of moving Washington's primary elections earlier to aid service members, logistical challenges of sending and receiving ballots in remote locations, voting innovations pioneered by the Office of Secretary of State, and information on registering and updating voter registration information.

Check out the "Serving Those Who Serve - A Guide to Military Voting in washington State" video below. It's pretty slick, although it screams for a rockin' soundtrack. We suggest Titus Andronicus's "A More Perfect Union," which mixes Abraham Lincoln quotes, Harriet Beecher Stowe verses and homage to Bruce Springsteen. Launch that video below before launching the tax video. It's the perfect union.

Filed under: Deployment, Education, Video,

June 17, 2013 at 12:16pm

Today: Clover Park and Lakes high schools' graduation webcasts

It's a huge day for seniors at two Clover Park School District high schools. Clover Park and Lakes will kick its seniors into the world with graduation ceremonies today at the Tacoma Dome - 4 and 7 p.m., respectively. It's not as huge of a day for the parents who happen to be serving in the military overseas. They'll miss the speeches. They'll miss the band performances. They'll miss the endless stream of seniors acting wacky with joy.

With more than 30 percent of the district's students associated with Joint Base Lewis-McChord, the school district decided to stream the graduation ceremonies live on the Internet.

Catch all cap tossing, and shout outs, horn blasting and tearful hugs live via the Clover Park School District webpage, thanks to Expert Video Services in Lakewood.

June 14, 2013 at 2:08pm

Exchange Service offers $1,000 raffle

No more pencils
No more books
No more teacher's dirty looks

No doubt Alice Cooper's famous lyrics are ringing loud just about now.

Well ... not inside the Army and Air Force Exchange Service's corporate office. The folks at Exchange Service have autumn on the noggin. It has just release a back-to-school(!) promotion, offering $1,000 to lucky winners. Let's read the press release. ...

The Army and Air Force Exchange Service will ease the burden of back-to-school shopping for 15 lucky shoppers during the Unilever "Salute to Clean" sweepstakes.

Each winner will be awarded a $1,000 gift card, redeemable at any Exchange location worldwide or online at The drawing will be held on or around Aug. 22, just in time for students to coordinate their closets and stock up on supplies for the first day of class.


June 6, 2013 at 10:13am

Today in JBLM Does Good: Maj. Johnpaul (J.P.) Arnold

Maj. Johnpaul (J.P.) Arnold

One of Joint Base Lewis-McChord's servicemembers will be on hand for a special outdoor flag ceremony that will take place on Friday, June 7 on the Ouachita Baptist University campus in Arkansas. Maj. Johnpaul (J.P.) Arnold, a U.S. Army public affairs officer stationed at JBLM, returns to his alma mater to present a special American flag that was flown in Afghanistan to the university's School of Humanities. The university and event organizers welcome the general public to attend.

Following the ceremony and a prayer of dedication, the flag will be presented to the School of Humanities and Rogers Department of Communications for display in Lile Hall.

Arnold, an Arkansas native, is a 1994 Ouachita graduate who majored in mass communications and was a Major General Moise B. Seligman ROTC Scholar at the university.

In addition to Arnold's stellar academic career, he has been equally lauded for his military service. With two deployments to Iraq and one to Afghanistan, he has been awarded two Bronze Star Medals, a Defense Meritorious Service Medal, a Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Iraq and Afghanistan Campaign Medals, a NATO Medal and a Combat Action Badge.


June 4, 2013 at 12:19pm

Greenwood, Clarkmoor, and Beachwood elementary schools score big bucks

U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) sent some good news to Joint Base Lewis-McChord today. According to her office, the senior member of the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee is sending $90,768,089 of the DoD's money to Greenwood, Clarkmoor and Beachwood elementary schools. As a bonus, The Clover Park School District and state of Washington will match these grants with an additional $23,075,465 for a total investment of $113,843,553.

Click here to read the full release.

May 30, 2013 at 6:41pm

Kent Rotary donates $40,000 to Veterans Educational Transition Fund

If you had any doubts whether the Kent Rotary was cool, this bit of news should set the record straight.

AUBURN, WA - The Green River Community College Foundation's Veteran Educational Transition Fund got a $23,000 boost following the Rotary Club of Kent's Dream Big Auction. That contribution adds to the $17,000 the club already donated this year to help the college's veteran students attend school.


Filed under: Benefit, Veterans, Education,

May 24, 2013 at 2:52pm

Words & Photos: Tribute to Our Troops at UW Tacoma

Local country musician Jonathan Harris performed at the Tribute to Our Troops event May 23 at the University of Washington Tacoma. Photo credit: Keegan Patterson

When I stepped into the William Philip Hall on the campus of the University of Washington's Tacoma branch, I was immediately greeted by the sound of "The Stars and StripesForever" playing patriotically over the sound system, historical uniforms of distinguished local servicewomen being displayed on my left and a large screen at the back of the hall indicating that this was indeed the 5th annual Tribute to Our Troops event. The University of Puget Sound hosts the event close to Memorial Day weekend inviting sguest speakers and activities "celebrating those who have served or who are currently serving the county through military service," to quote the university's website. Going into the event, I knew little about what I should expect, and when it was over I left the hall deeply moved by the stirring emotion displayed.

The ceremonies opened with an explanatory introduction by Debra Friedman, the chancellor of UW Tacoma, and a formal presentation of colors by the Inter-Tribal Warrior Society Honor Guard, a society made up of Native American veterans. Current and past members of the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard in attendance were then honored and recognized by standing when the anthem of their respective military branch was played.


Filed under: Ceremony, Education, Tacoma,

May 23, 2013 at 2:35pm

The Arlington Project at Clover Park High School

Students at Clover Park High School work on The Arlington Project. In its eighth year, it honors the 6,650 service members who have fallen since 9/11. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

Ariona Hendricks walked along a long row of stakes, each with the name of a fallen service member.

"I'm looking to make sure there are no duplicates," the Clover Park High School sophomore said. 

"It's a sign of respect to honor those who have given they lives for us."

As Memorial Day approaches, Clover Park High School students have been engaged in The Arlington Project.

Begun eight years ago by instructors David Russell and Bryan Winkler, the stakes are laid out in the exact same way the headstones are at Arlington National Cemetery.

>>> Cpl. Brandan Craig, Army, is remembered as part of The Arlington Project. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

"When we started in 2005, there were 4,564," Winkler said.  "Now there are 6,650 - all deserving of recognition."

Zoey Selby agreed.

A senior at Clover Park High School, she invites the public to join her in a HERO - WOD, or Workout of the Day, activity.

"We can use a good physical workout to remember those who worked hard and gave their lives for us," Selby said.

For more information on this project, visit

Filed under: Holidays, Memorial, Lakewood, Education,

May 10, 2013 at 9:52am

Let's talk award-winning online education

Brandman University - part of the Chapman University System (founded in 1958) - has always striven to meet the needs of veterans and active military members. In Washington state alone, the university system has campuses at Joint Base Lewis-McChord Joint Base Lewis-McChord (class graduated yesterday!), NAS Whidbey Island, NBK Bangor and a campus in Lacey. Brandman just got a little bonus recognition for its efforts - it was named the second best online school in the country for undergrad programs for veterans by U.S. News & World Report.

You want to go to college? You want to go to a good college? You look to the U.S. News & World Report college rankings, yo.


Filed under: Education, Veterans, Web/Tech,

July 26, 2011 at 1:52pm

New GI Bill tuition protection approved

(Army Times)-- Congress has passed emergency legislation to prevent thousands of Post-9/11 GI Bill students from a drop in tuition payments next week when new policies will simplify the popular education program.

President Obama is expected to sign the bill, and Veterans Affairs Department officials are trying to work out a way to apply the change to the GI Bill without delaying processing of claims for the fall term. Most Post-9/11 GI Bill claims are supposed to be calculated and paid using a new, fully automated system, but passage of the new tuition rate protection will require some claims to be processed by hand.

The House passed the bill on Tuesday by a 422-0 vote. The Senate had approved the measure by voice vote on July 21, so it now heads to the White House. It is not clear whether Obama will receive the bill in time for it to be signed by Aug. 1, when the GI Bill changes are to take effect, but the tuition fix will be effective Aug. 1 even if it is signed into law after that date.

The bill, HR 1383, protects about 30,000 students in seven states - Arizona, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Texas - from the effects of a new nationwide tuition and fee cap of $17,500 that could leave some students paying thousands of dollars out-of-pocket to remain in school.

To read the entire story, click here.

Filed under: Benefit, Education, Veterans,

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