9-11 concert in Tacoma to be a PBS documentary.  Click here for the story.
Our community is lucky to have a new, dynamic Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army (CASA), Jimmy Collins. Mr. Collins wants to connect Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber members to Army procurement opportunities.First focus: the Rapid Equipping Force (REF) portal that has been responsible for several of the gains made in quickly equipping Stryker Brigade Combat Teams from Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
During every war, Army units are confronted with shortfalls that require immediate action to neutralize an adaptive enemy. These urgent warfighting needs often emerge faster than the institutional acquisition processes can address them.
In November 2002, the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army created the REF as a unique, singular organization designed to address an Army-wide, systemic deficiency in providing immediate and innovative technology solutions.
Military supporters can throw a few bucks in the rucks to support local military presonnel.

The DuPont Sub-chapter of JBLM's Capt Meriwether Lewis Chapter of the Association of the United States Army is collecting money to support two sub-chapter programs - the Single Soldier Project and care packages for deployed troops.

"The money raised does a lot to support the morale of troops returning from war, and those in the warzone this holiday season," said Ken Swarner, president of the DuPont sub chapter.

According to Swarner, the Single Soldier Project gives returning single Soldiers and Airmen gift baskets of toiletries and snacks in their rooms their first night home from deployment.

"Too often, our single troops come home without families there to greet them," said Swarner.  "We want these troops to know they are appreciated, plus with the high rates of suicide, we don't want our troops feeling alone and unloved."

Other monies will support sending care packages to JBLM units deployed this holiday.

"We'll take the donations to support our big care package mailing taking place November 12," Swarner added.  "We invite the families of the deployed to put in personal messages and added goodies, and we pay the postage to send the package down range.  For our younger families, this saves them money for the holidays, plus reminds both the families and the deployed troops how much we support them."

Jolene Houghtaling, a board member with the sub-chapter and employee at America's Credit Union, said her credit union is thrilled to participate in Bucks for Rucks.

"It is so important to make the Single Soldiers and Airmen feel welcomed home, especially the ones that do not have family in the area," Houghtaling added. "The last thing these men and women need to feel is alone when they get back from serving our country."

To make donations, either drop them at the Community 1st Credit Union branches in DuPont or Steilacoom (
www.comm1stcu.org/contactus.html), or mail to Bucks in Rucks, c/o The Ranger newspaper, P.O. Box 98801, Lakewood, Wa. 98496.  For more information, email Ken Swarner.

The UPS Store in Lakewood is making a connection with local military personnel and veterans.  They will deposit your checks direct to USAA.  Nice!!  See the store HERE.
More details will be available September 6th, but mark October 16th on your calendars as The Ranger & NW Airlifter Newspapers, along with SDC Homes hosts A Salute to the Unsung Heroes: Military Kids.

The day will be packed with free goodies, games, food and prizes for the children of our local military personnel.  It's a day to recognize those that have no choice in being part of a military family, and yet sacrifice heavily for this country.  They are our brave boys and girls who shoulder the burden and hardship of having a parent or parents deployed multiple times in harms way.

We are proud to announce this event, and we will have greater details and sign-ups beginning September 6th.

Those interested in starting their own small business have a great opportunity to talk to and get tips from several local small business owners at the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Small Business Expo Aug. 27 at the La Quinta Inn and Suites, 11751 Pacific Hwy Southwest, Lakewood.

The event, which is co-sponsored by The Ranger and Northwest Airlifter newspapers, will bring together military spouses, veterans and military affiliated businesses.

There will also be demonstrations by Spanaway Hit (a local kickboxing gym), Black Hills Gymnastics, the Capitol City All Star Cheerleading and Zumba with Leslie.

Businesses scheduled to participate include AB Photography, Anew Thyme, Annie's Unique Gifts, Anytime Fitness, At a Glance Magazine, Baby Boot Camp and Bees, Butterflies and Stars Party Planning.

For more information or to register, visit http://www.facebook.com/JBLMFamiliesforBusiness or email Allison Burton at www.facebook.com/allisonburton33.

Leadership from the 62nd Medical Brigade and the 6th Military Police Group (CID) attended a meet and greet event on July 14 and were paired with local businesses and organizations that had adopted Soldiers from their units.  The event was hosted by the Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA) DuPont subchapter.

"We want to be more proactive in supporting those in uniform," said subchapter President Ken Swarner. "This is the first step towards doing that and thanks to you all for participating."

In addition to hosting the Adopt-a-Company event, the subchapter also continues to support the local nonprofit group Wear Blue: Run to Remember and coordinate the Single Soldier Project, which provides welcome home gift baskets to redeploying single Servicemembers at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

"We are blessed to be paired with this community. They are so supportive and considerate when it comes to what our Soldiers need," said Capt. Valerie Aquino of the 62nd Medical Brigade's HHC, which was adopted by America's Credit Union.

"We've discussed teaching a workshop on how to buy a car, whether it's new or used," said Darin Gearheart, who was there to represent Sunset Chevrolet, which adopted HHD, 56th Multifunctional Medical Battalion. "We figure we can help to educate them on this topic and hopefully help them out."

Other DuPont businesses and organizations involved included Farmer's Insurance, Dhane Orthodontics, Patriot's Landing, Anytime Fitness and Cal Portland as well as the City of DuPont itself.

"This is a win/win for us and the community," said 62nd Medical Brigade Command Sgt. Maj. Mark Pumphrey. "For the people who don't know how to give back and help the military, this is the way. AUSA makes that possible and in the end, it pays dividends for everyone."

Despite the good turnout, some companies are still available for adoption; to get involved, e-mail Gina Luplow at
[email protected].

The Heroes at Home program continues to roll full steam forward signing up spouses at JBLM for FREE, yes FREE tuition.  There is also support programs for those looking for a job.  It's all explained HERE.

You'll never now if you are eligible unless you apply - so do that today at the Stone Education Center on JBLM.  There are folks there waiting to serve YOU!
Meet Conrad Archuleta of a Personal Touch, and how he went from Infantry into the home repair biz.  CLICK HERE
Meet Hagop Ouzounian of AYCH Electronics, and how he went from MI to starting a civilian security company. SEE HIS STORY HERE

Denise Dhane, vice president of the blossoming DuPont AUSA subchapter, recently got 100 pounds of coffee beans direct from Starbucks' corporate offices, and she instantly knew where to head for help with shipping.

"Community 1st Credit Union was ready to do something and was asking for ideas," Dhane said. "So this was the perfect way; those Soldiers need coffee to stay alert and focused on their work, so their adoptive business can deliver it to them."

The credit union, which recently built a large headquarters building in the city of DuPont, agreed to pay the priority shipping on the coffee and literally buy the Soldiers a cup (or a pot) of coffee.

"Even though it is extremely hot here right now, coffee is brewing day and night, so this a very generous offer," said Col. Scott Avery, commander of the Task Force 47th Combat Support Hospital, via e-mail. "The 62nd Medical Brigade has five companies over here right now from JBLM and I know they all would enjoy some of Starbucks finest."

The 20 plus boxes of java will be sent to Avery and then distributed among his Soldiers at their various locations throughout Afghanistan.

"We want to thank all the folks in advance for this wonderful gift!" Avery said.

For Community 1st, this is just the start of their campaign to support the local military, according to president and CEO Roger Gieseke, who served in the Air Force himself.

"Our focus is to thank them for their service any way we can," Gieseke said.

Photo caption: Denise Dhane, AUSA DuPont subchapter vice president, and Roger Gieseke, president and CEO of Community 1st Credit Union, hold a couple of the many boxes filled with Starbucks coffee that will be sent downrange to Soldiers in the 47th Combat Support Hospital.