A Message from the Director - July WDVA Veteran Voices

David Puente

Governors Challenge

Recently, your WDVA Suicide Prevention Team had the privilege of hosting the second in-person Governor's Challenge meeting. I am thrilled to inform you that the Cowlitz Indian Tribe partnered with us to make this event a success. Their collaboration and dedication have been invaluable.

Our mission is not only to reduce Service Member, Veteran, and Family Member suicide rates but also to empower individuals and communities with the necessary tools and resources to prevent suicide altogether. To achieve this, we have brought together government agencies, non-profit and professional organizations, medical and mental health professionals, and tribal members.

Together, we are implementing the SMVF Suicide Prevention Strategic Plan, with a roster of 69 passionate leaders on Washington's Governor's Challenge.

VFW State Convention

I recently had the privilege of speaking at the VFW State Convention and would like to extend my appreciation to State Commander Craig Dougherty and State Sr. Vice Commander Perry Taylor for their kind invitation.

During my speech, I emphasized the remarkable work being done by organizations like VFW which continues to serve those who served like your WDVA. The VFW offers a wide range of programs and initiatives, such as POW/MIA, youth essays, adopt a unit, Heroes in the Ballpark, VFW Riders, and the Scouting Program, to name just a few. I also want to acknowledge the incredible efforts taking place in our state to support Veterans and their families.

While each organization takes pride in their work and innovative approaches, it is the collaborative relationships and partnerships that truly set our state apart. Together, we can achieve so much more.

Thank you for the work you do and for the partnership.

Retsil Free Family Fun Fest - Washington Veterans Home (Retsil)

Our Washington Veterans Home hosted the Retsil Free Family Fun Fest on June 22. It was a resounding success, bringing together families, residents, and WDVA staff from all over the community for a day of excitement and entertainment.

From thrilling games, fun bounce houses, booths, petting zoo, hotdogs and popcorn to delightful music. The event had something for everyone. Thank you to all community partners for your ongoing support.

The community's support and presence were key to the success of the Retsil Free Family Fun Fest. Your WDVA would like to express sincere gratitude to everyone who attended the event and helped to make it a day to remember for everyone.

For more photos visit: Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs’s albums | Flickr

To learn more about our Veterans Homes visit: Veterans Homes | WDVA (wa.gov)

For a copy of July's Veteran Voices Newsletter visit Brochures and Newsletters | WDVA (wa.gov)