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Rally Point 6 guides military families to civilian careers

Lakewood nonprofit thanks a network of partners, community

Joined by community leaders, retired CW4 Anne Sprute, founder/CEO of Rally Point 6, and retired Lt. Gen. Bill Harrison, former mayor of Lakewood, cut the ribbon opening Rally Point 6. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

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Lakewood nonprofit Rally Point 6 is about transition and community.

A rally point is a location on a mission route where soldiers can link up to during the completion of a mission.

The phrase "I've got your 6," means that your comrades have your back protected.

Taken together, the name conveys that a military member or servicemember will get help on the way to a new goal.

On a perfect near-end-of-summer day, Rally Point 6 officially marked its presence in the city of Lakewood and Pierce County with a well-attended ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday, a little over seven months since The Ranger wrote about Rally Point 6 in February.

"Selfless service is a commitment about being a part of something bigger than yourself," said Lt. Gen. Stephen Lanza, I Corps' commander at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. "Rally Point 6 demonstrates this spirit."

Hundreds of local and county politicians, civic and military leaders gathered to witness the grand opening of the state's largest, private, nonprofit one-stop resource center created to help veterans, servicemembers and their families realize their potential.

"We need conduits in communities for greatness," commented retired Col. David Sutherland, co-founder and chairman of the Easter Seals Dixon Center. "RallyPoint/6 allows us to recognize greatness."

>>> Rally Point 6 mobilizes a network of partners committed to assisting veterans, service members and their families. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

Taking a building that was nothing more than studs holding up a roof, a group of community volunteers, retired military service members and military family members sank time, money and sweat equity in the heart of Lakewood to create a hub for veterans seeking transitional assistance.

The 6,000 square feet of remodeled building hosts computer labs, classrooms and a staff with almost three centuries of cumulative military experience.   

Veterans and family members can make connections for employment and careers, education opportunities, family programs, housing, veteran benefits and wellness resources.

>>> Retired Col. Larry Saunders, Rally Point 6 board co-chair, welcomes the community to the organization's new building. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

"Any veteran who needs help can get it here," said retired Col. Larry Saunders, co-chairman of the Rally Point 6 board.

Initial funding for Rally Point 6 came from the Gary E. Milgard Family Foundation and matching funds.

Rally Point 6 chose the Lakewood location because of its proximity to JBLM.

"A center like Rally Point 6 shows how much our community is committed to helping and meeting the needs of our transition military," said Lakewood City Councilmember John Caulfield. "There is a great team at work here."

At the head of the team - and the driving force behind Rally Point 6 - is retired Chief Warrant Officer 4 Anne Sprute, founder and CEO of the center.

A former helicopter pilot, Sprute conceived her idea for a Rally Point 6 during one of her last stops during her Army career.

In 2008, she served as a community outreach officer for JBLM's Warrior Transition Battalion.

She discovered there were many community groups and individuals who wanted to help the WTB's soldiers.

"We used to talk about a sea of goodwill and how to connect the person to the resources," Sprute added.

But transitioning from the military to the civilian world can be tough, and the challenge lies in getting the right help to the right soldier at the right time.

So Sprute went to work.

She located a building, solicited funding and put out a call and built a group of dedicated team members to help make the idea of helping soldiers and their families a reality.

"There is a pool of resources here," she said before the ribbon cutting.

"We connect people to the right resources; these soldiers, veterans and family members are the bedrock of the community."

The center's work pace is quickening as the Army plans to continue to downsize.

Sprute told a story about how a veteran walked into Rally Point 6 with nothing but the clothes on his back.

"Eight hours earlier, his house had burned to the ground," she related. "At one point he mentioned that he felt like driving his car into a wall."

That was when he learned there was a team that had his back.

"We got him help, and he is on his way to rebuilding," Sprute added.

"Let this be our call to action today."

Rally Point 6 is at 9881 Bridgeport Way SW.  For more information, go to, call 253.777.0556 or contact

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