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Outstanding Service to Veterans Award winners

The 2022 Outstanding Service to Veteran Award Winners pose with their newly received awards during a luncheon event to honor them hosted by the WDVA during the Veterans Parade held in downtown Auburn Nov. 5, 2022. Photo credit: Gary Lott

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"You know who they are!" Community members that constantly make a difference and continually shift the attention to serving veterans and their families in Washington state.

It's individuals who may be supporting several non-profit organizations or volunteering more hours then there are in a day. It's teams that rise together as one to lift the community's level of support and awareness to those who have served. It may even be a legislator who is tiding the waves in the legal wheelhouse to make sure policies that champion veteran causes continue to remain visible.

Several community members and teams received the Governor's Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee (VAAC) Outstanding Service to Veterans Award, hosted by the Washington Department of Veterans Affairs, during the City of Auburn's 57th Annual Veterans Parade Nov. 5.

The VAAC holds several town halls throughout the state and throughout the year, to ensure that veterans in all communities across Washington state have their voices heard and are updated on the status of veteran-related news, policies and programs. They also select the winners each year from dozens of nominations of leaders in outstanding service to veterans categories.

Each award was handed out by the Director and Deputy Director of the Washington Department of Veterans Affairs, the VAAC Chair and the Mayor of Auburn during a luncheon celebration held at Merrill Gardens in downtown Auburn.

The award winners also participated in the parade by riding alongside a cheering and waving audience. Several Veteran Service Organization volunteers donate their vehicles and gas to properly chauffeur each of the awardees.

These award winners have all shown their leadership and overall outstanding service in Serving Those Who Served in the community.


  • Superior Service:

    • T.J. Morgan - involved with Marine Corps League since 2003, National Jr. Vice Commandant for the Marine Corps League, and dedicated last 19 years to promoting and providing relief to veterans.
    • Cheri Knox - VFW Department of Washington's VSO of the Year for 2022. Her team has assisted and processed claims for 300+ veterans, collected 2000+ lbs. of donated food and 10,000+ Christmas toys for children. Collected 6000+ school supplies and has led 15 outreach events.
  • Distinguished Service:

    • Nino Gray - Purple Heart Veteran, founded the Task Force 12 partnership with the Seahawks and 12 military non-profits that has helped to facilitate $500,000 worth of grants. Helps run the annual Seattle Seahawks Salute to Service Game, Current Alumni of Merging Veterans & Players (MVP), and previously worked with Wounded Warrior Project and TriWest Healthcare Alliance.
    • Amy Tiemeyer - veteran advocate for 15+ years, current WA State President for the Association of the United States Army (AUSA), sits on the executive board for Operation Ward 57, and volunteers with dozens of organizations every year. Past president of the Air Force Association on McChord Field, current member of USO Northwest, American Warrior Initiative and many other non-profits.
  • Team:

    • NW Veterans Resource Center - provides veteran services in Clallam County, hosts an annual food and clothing bank, creates and updates one of the most dynamic county veteran resource books in Washington state.
    • American Lake Golf Course Volunteers - provides management of the course, groundskeeping and maintenance, helps check in veteran guests and schedules dozens of events throughout the year. The golf course also offers rehabilitation therapy, socialization and support to military members.
  • Legislator of the Year:

    • Senator Tim Sheldon - represents 35th district serving Mason, Thurston and Kitsap counties. Longest serving member of the Legislature and served for seven years in the House of Representatives. Has authored major job training, infrastructure, job-creation initiatives and secured project funding for the creation of the Shelton Veterans Village.
    • Representative Ed Orcutt - represents 18th district serving Clark County. Focuses on creating jobs and advocating for policies that benefit families. Sponsored House Bill 1250 that designated Washington state as a Purple Heart State and is erecting Purple Heart highway signs throughout the state.

These winners will continue to serve veterans in Washington state, and the public is invited to view past winners and this year's full nominations by visiting the VAAC's website at: Outstanding Service To Veterans Hall of Fame | WDVA (

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