Back to Online Newspapers

A well-deserved 100 candles

Happy Birthday JBLM

Email Article Print Article Share on Facebook Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon

In this part of the country, any institution celebrating 100 consecutive years in operation is amazing - these milestones are certainly few and far between.  The fact that the organization is a place that serves our greater good, protects us, and fights for our freedoms - well, that is simply awe inspiring.  What started as Camp Lewis in 1917, became Fort Lewis, added McChord Air Force Base and is now Joint Base Lewis-McChord, turns 100 this year, and we explore those 10 decades in the magazine you now hold in your hands, or are enjoying online (at

It has been known by many names, including the Evergreen Post and Guardian of the Northwest, but one fact has remained constant, the connection between the base and the community has been tight.  Through it all, the ups and downs, the people here have championed our base, and frankly, vice-versa as well.

Community leaders first and foremost advocated for the situating of Camp Lewis in the South Sound for economic reasons.  Local leaders knew the impact government paychecks could have on Tacoma and the surrounding towns, and they lobbied hard to bring the base here.  In fact, the people of Pierce County literally voted to give the land to the War Department.  Today, that economic interest is still true - this is a military town, evidenced by the fact that in Pierce County alone, one-third of all paychecks cashed in area banks come directly from JBLM.  That is billions in annual payroll, not to mention government contracts, school impact funds and much more.

There has always been an economic interest in maintaining a military base in the area, but there are reasons we are lucky that far extend beyond our cash registers.  We are fortunate to have such a diverse group of people in uniform and their families, from all political and religious persuasions living among us.  They volunteer and support our schools, civic clubs, churches and communities.  They bring fresh ideas, patriotism and service, and a can-do attitude that enriches the South Sound.  

They come and go, and thanks to social media, it's easier to stay in contact with now, but even if we only remember them as first names in our third grade class, or the mom that volunteered at the bake sale, we are better for knowing them.

JBLM's 100th Anniversary is more than dates and unit movements - it's a reminder of those friends we once had - of the lasting positive impacts military people have made on our community - and it's about looking forward to more of the same over the next 100 years.

Read next close


Snowshoeing at Longmire

comments powered by Disqus