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Local military supporter receives top award

Kelly Chambers recognized for Visiting Angels

Visiting Angels’ CEO Larry Meigs, recently presented local Visiting Angels franchise owner, Kelly Chambers, with their $5,000 top award for community service for her work with Puget Sound Honor Flights. Photo credit: Visiting Angels of Tacoma

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A few months ago, 96-year-old Retired Chief Petty Officer Thomas Story, packed his bags and boarded a plane at SeaTac International Airport along with 39 other World War II veterans. The flight, sponsored by Puget Sound Honor Flights, would take them to Washington, D.C. where they would have the opportunity to visit the memorials built in their honor. A volunteer guardian, tasked with making sure the trip was everything they hoped it would be, accompanied each traveler. Kelly Chambers, a local businesswoman who owns several Visiting Angels franchises in the Pacific Northwest, accompanied CPO Story.

Four times a year, Chambers accompanies a veteran like Story, making it possible for them to complete one last mission.  "I want to do something for them (World War II veterans)," said Chambers. "I feel like their clock is ticking. I want to do everything I can to help them."

Puget Sound Honor Flights is the local branch of the national Honor Flight Network, a nonprofit organization dedicated to honoring the lives and service of all veterans by enabling them to visit the places in our nation's capitol that have been built to honor them. Honor Flights provides an all expenses paid trip for selected servicemembers, but volunteer guardians must pay their own way. It costs approximately $1,000, provided by donations and corporate sponsors, to cover the transportation, meals and lodging for each veteran.

Chambers, who owns three Visiting Angels franchises in Lakewood, Olympia, and Newberg, Oregon, was recently honored at the annual Visiting Angels national convention for her work with Puget Sound Honor Flights. Every year, the company awards $1,000 to four franchisees for their work with nonprofit organizations and a top prize of $5,000 to the franchisee who best exemplifies Visiting Angels' commitment to serving their communities. At this year's convention, Chambers was chosen by her peers to receive Visiting Angels' top award for community service. Her prize will make it possible for five more vets to experience this special trip.

Larry Meigs, the CEO of Visiting Angels, had this to say about Chambers: "We are thrilled to support Kelly's cause and help to send more of our nation's treasured veterans on the Honor Flight. She is obviously committed to making a difference in the lives of these outstanding men and women ..."

Founded in 1998, Visiting Angels exists to allow senior citizens to "age in place," by providing carefully selected and highly trained individuals to help with meals, light housework, medication, transportation and companionship, allowing the elderly to remain in their own homes for as long as possible. To contact a Visiting Angels franchise near you or to learn more about Visiting Angels, visit their website at

So what did CPO Story have to say about his recent trip? "Kelly went out of her way to see that I was comfortable. She was always at my side. She explained details about each and every place we went. At every stop, I was treated like a hero. It almost brought tears to my eyes. I am still overwhelmed."

Want to make a donation or learn more about Puget Sound Honor Flights? Visit their website at

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