Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: 'Awards' (35) Currently Viewing: 1 - 10 of 35

January 5, 2015 at 6:17pm

JBLM combat engineer Spc. Asa Bingham receives Purple Heart

Spc. Asa Bingham, right, a combat engineer assigned to the 555th Engineer Brigade received the Purple Heart medal during a ceremony at JBLM Jan. 5. Maj. Gen. Terry Ferrell presented the medal. Photo credit: Staff Sgt. Mark Miranda

A combat engineer assigned to the 555th Engineer Brigade received the Purple Heart medal during a ceremony at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Jan. 5. Spc. Asa Bingham, 22nd Engineer Clearance Company, suffered traumatic brain injury from a roadside bomb blast during deployment to Afghanistan in January 2014.

"I was hit twice - once in December 2013, but at the time I didn't really feel the effects from that first one," said Bingham, a native of Pismo Beach, Calif.
"It was the one January 3rd (2014) that I was medically evacuated, transferred to Germany for treatment before being sent home."

Maj. Gen. Terry Ferrell, commander, 7th Infantry Division presented the medal to Bingham. He took the opportunity to thank the soldiers of the 22nd Eng. Clearance Company for their mission success and to talk about U.S. Army current topics.

Bingham was in good spirits after receiving the Purple Heart, and joked in his closing remarks, "I want to thank the ‘Hooligans' (22nd ECC) for the support, getting me through that last deployment ... it was a blast."

Bingham receives treatment for his TBIs and returned to full duty status with the 22nd Eng. Clearance Company.

November 10, 2014 at 11:17am

Staff Sgt. Matthew Roth receives America's Service Heroes Scholarship from Saint Martin's University

Staff Sgt. Matthew Roth received some extra spotlight action during the Saint Martin's University's Gala 2014 Nov. 1. Roth, a SMU senior from San Diego, California, was honored for being the University's sixth recipient of its America's Service Heroes Scholarship.

The folks at SMU have more details. ...


November 4, 2014 at 12:29pm

Lakewood City Council states Veterans Day Proclamation, honors military residents

Lakewood high school ROTC students added fanfare to the city of Lakewood's annual Veterans Day Proclamation. Photo credit: Kevin Knodell

Monday, Nov. 3, the Lakewood City Council celebrated Veterans Day early with its annual Veterans Day Proclamation.

The council honored Lt. Gen. William Harrison (Ret.) - Lakewood's mayor emeritus, President of the AUSA's Captain Meriwether Lewis chapter and of the Pierce Military and Business Alliance Carlene Joseph and Rally Point/6 founder and CEO Anne Sprute. They also proclaimed November to be Veterans Appreciation Month.

The ceremony featured members of Clover Park High School and Lakes High School ROTC programs as color guards, and a video presentation honoring veterans. Each service was recognized as veterans were asked to stand as their service anthems were played.

Lakewood Deputy Mayor Jason Whalen spoke about the contributions the honorees have made to the community, and congratulated them for their accomplishments over the course of the year. The council thanked Harrison for his service to the city and congratulated him on the recent dedication of Harrison Hall, the new 7th Infantry Division headquarters at Joint Base Lewis-McChord named in his honor.

Joseph received the AUSA's 2014 Maj. Gen. Anthony J. Drexel Biddle Medal, an award for members who've significantly contributed to advancing the interests of the AUSA. The council thanked Sprute for her tireless efforts in support of veterans through Rally Point/6, one of the most ambitious veteran support organizations in the state.

>>> Lakewood Deputy Mayor Jason Whalen honors Rally Point/6 CEO Anne Sprute at the Lakewood City Council meeting Monday, Nov. 3. Photo by Kevin Knodell

All the honorees received a city of Lakewood challenge coin. The coin, a military tradition, is meant to symbolize the community's military roots. The young city of Lakewood has deep military roots indeed.

>>> Lt. Gen. William Harrison (Ret.) / photo credit: Kevin Knodell

After leaving the Army, Harrison was one of the leading members of the campaign to incorporate the city in 1996, and was elected Lakewood's first mayor shortly after. Owing to its proximity to JBLM and Camp Murray, Lakewood has a large population of both active-duty military members and their families. Many decide to reside there permanently after leaving the service, with a large veteran population as well.

October 15, 2014 at 2:03pm

Trail To Western American Art: Cherokee Nation, Go West Gala, bluegrass coming to Tacoma Art Museum

Artist Nikki McClure and Peter Raffa, Tacoma Art Museum's director of development, with McClure's paper cut work "Ache," generously donated for the Nov. 14 Go West Gala fundraising auction. Photo courtesy of Tacoma Art Museum

Opening day for the new wing of Tacoma Art Museum is getting closer by the day, and the museum continues to gear up for a huge celebration. Curators are reviewing, restoring and acquiring period frames for a small number of works in the collection. Painting the galleries is complete, and the museum is finalizing the logistics for the Marie Watt sculpture installation, "Blanket Stories: Transportation Object, Generous Ones, Trek". The bronze sculpture made from 400 donated blankets is estimated to weigh 2,500 pounds.

Asia Tail, a member of the Cherokee Nation, recently joined TAM in the role of Haub Fellow. She is reaching out to local Native Americans and tribes across the nation that are included in the artwork of the Haub Family Collection to bring the voice of Native people into the interpretation of the exhibition. This will be an ongoing project and TAM hopes to incorporate quotes and input in various formats throughout the exhibition.

The museum staff continues work testing and operating the lighting system in the new wing. Last year, TAM's team visited the San Francisco Modern Art Museum because as part of their expansion, SFMOMA had established a full-scale test gallery to evaluate lighting systems. The TAM staff was able to learn from SFMOMA's research to make an efficient selection of lighting for the new Haub Family Galleries.

You may see a large "A" on the steel grating of the new entrance canopy; this is a test for the scale of the new logo signage expected to be installed in early November.

TAM's largest annual benefit raising funds for educational programming, called the Go West Gala, takes place Nov. 14 and will include cuisine by El Gaucho, with drinks, dancing and entertainment by performance artist Shovelman with his shovel-turned-guitar, and there will be a gala auction featuring, among other items, beautiful paper cuts by Nikki McClure of Olympia and works donated by artists including Dale Chihuly, Susan Russell Hall, Jeremy Mangan, Camille Patha and Kurt Solmssen.

The Go West Grand Opening will include free Wells Fargo Stagecoach rides on Pacific Avenue from 1-4 p.m. Visitors can join artist Marie Watt in a sewing circle; Other activities on opening day include storytellers, face painting, western-themed food in the freshly updated TAM Café. The Weekly Volcano has summoned The Oly Mountain Boys and banjo musician Forest Beutel to fill the new wing with bluegrass during the opening day festivities. Buetel and The Oly Mountain Boys will also perform at the downtown Tacoma Polar Plaza Ice Rink this holiday season as part of the Weekly Volcano's Rhythm & Ice: Down Home Holiday Hootenanny shows every Saturday night during the rink's run.

TACOMA ART MUSEUM, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. third Thursday, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, $8-$10, 5 and younger free, 253.627.6031


Painted walls, "Big Red," Celebrity Cake Studio and metal coming to Tacoma Art Museum

Sellen Construction dangles the keys

Checking in with the Tacoma Art Museum

Colors, video, improved store at Tacoma Art Museum

Filed under: Arts, Community, Tacoma, Awards, Music,

October 2, 2014 at 6:59am

5 Things To Do Today: Tacoma Arts Month Opening Party, Green Drinks, "From Here to Eternity," Zeahorse ...

Tacoma artist and puppeteer Jeremy Gregory will present his work at the Tacoma Arts Month Opening Party tonight. Photo credit: Kris Crews

THURSDAY, OCT. 2 2014 >>>

1. Have you heard? Tacoma's gargantuan feast of literary, visual and performing arts has moved from November to October. That's right; October is Tacoma Arts Month (formerly Art at Work Month), but the festivities actually start Oct. 2 with an opening party and the AMOCAT Arts Awards presentation at the Tacoma Post Office Building. The annual kick-off party goes gargantuan too with the most "arts" in its 13th year history. The free event offers appetizers, dessert and a no-host bar while Speed Queen and Okinawa Taiko Drums perform, exhibits of work by Jessica Spring and The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation's Foundation of Art Award honorees hangs, exhibits of work by Beautiful Angle, Jeremy Gregory, Isaac Olsen, Alice Di Certo, Kristin Giordano, The C.L.A.W., and Poly Rev "pop up," Tintype photo booth by Kyle Dillehay opens and closes, Working Class Theater performs, Abby Kok, Alana Tamminga and Katlyn Hubner create art live, Tacoma Poet Laureate Lucas Smiraldo recites, Kat Ogden, Nick Butler, Kris Crews and The Grand Cinema screen films and trash fashion hits the runway. Mayor Stickland's presentation of the 2014 AMOCAT Arts Awards and recognition of the 2014 funding recipients begins at 7:45 p.m. Now that's art at work. Read Kristin Kendle's full feature on Tacoma Arts Month in the Music & Culture section.

2. The South Puget Sound Chapter of the Northwest EcoBuilding Guild will be hosting October's Green Drinks outing at 6 p.m. in The Forum in Tacoma. Steve Abercrombie, the South Sound Chapter president, will be providing updates on the new Vision to Action Symposiums and anything and everything that empowers people through education to transform the built environment for long-term sustainability. This could be a three drink night.

3. Tonight's Olympia People's Mic will feature Garfield Hilson, a Washington State University grad who reclaims his "stolen language" and does it well. He is the 2014 Seattle Poetry Individual Word Poetry Champion. Hilson joins the open mic at 7 p.m. in Café Love in downtown Olympia.

4. One of our most notable musical offerings this time around is a movie ... sort of. Y'know how a company called Fathom Events beams one-night-only screenings to movie theaters? In addition to RiffTrax commentaries and Metropolitan Opera productions, that service also transmits the occasional show from London's West End. This week, the play is a musical adaptation of From Here to Eternity - not the movie starring Burt Lancaster macking total PDA on Deborah Kerr, mind you, but the 1951 novel by James Jones. Jones's original draft had its soldiers swearing and talking about gay prostitution. Such content was struck prior to publication, of course, and it wasn't restored till a 2011 rerelease. When composer Stuart Brayson read that new edition, he recommended it to lyricist Tim Rice, and the result was an October 2013 musical extravaganza. So what? Well, Rice had a hand in some of our all-time favorite shows, including Evita, Chess, The Lion King, and Beauty and the Beast. And you can see his new show from a better-than-front-row vantage point at 7 p.m. in the Century Olympia, all for cheap and with nary a passport. Brilliant!

5. Zeahorse is a band that does not stumble blood-crusted out of the outback. They're from Sydney which, one imagines, could not be without at least a couple air-conditioned fast food restaurants. The prospect of losing one's mind in the wasteland of the desert would likely be far from the minds of the members of Zeahorse. Still, the legacy of groundbreaking Australian acts is a heavy load to carry. Zeahorse, being a band that trades in heavy psych-rock, must be particularly aware of how they enter into the conversation of heavy bands that come from down under. Read Rev. Adam McKinney's full feature on Zeahorse in the Music & Culture section, then catch the band with Ex-Gods and Magnetic Rose at 8 p.m. in Northern.

LINK: Thursday, Oct. 2 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

September 29, 2014 at 1:25pm

Military veterans receive Brandman University scholarships named after former sailor

Darcy Bockman-Wright

A Madigan Army Medical Center employee has received a military veteran scholarship from Brandman University. In honor of graduate Bryan Fazio, Brandman University has awarded four $1,000 scholarships, and 11 $250 scholarships to military veterans who have a medical condition or disability and currently attend the school.

The Bryan Fazio Scholarship was recently established to honor the perseverance and triumph of one of Brandman's most inspirational graduates. Fazio was diagnosed with an aggressive form of Hodgkin's lymphoma while serving in the Navy. Doctors told him that he had just nine months to live, yet, upon hearing the news, Fazio doubled up on his graduate level courses and received his MBA in August 2013. He is currently attending Law School at Whittier College.  

Darcy Bockman-Wright, a veteran who attends class at the Joint Base Lewis-McChord campus, was one of those chosen to receive the inaugural $1,000 scholarship. She joined the Army in 1993, serving until 2002 in a variety of MOS fields, including an eye specialist, a combat medic and a truck driver.

"I am still in shock that I was the only Washington Brandman University student chosen," she said. "The belief that they have in me has helped me re-focus and stay dedicated. I am honored to be the first to receive such an award, especially as a fifth-generation veteran." 

The winners were chosen after each applicant submitted a 500-1000 word essay detailing where they see themselves in five years and how their Brandman education will help them achieve their goals.

Bockman-Wright, who currently works as a civilian in the Ophthalmology department at Madigan Army Medical Center, is working towards her bachelor's degree in Organizational Leadership and is slated to graduate in spring of 2015.

"Once I reach my goal, I will do as Mr. Fazio has and pass it on. Veterans have enough to deal with from doctor appointments, families, bills, work or everyday life," explained Bockman-Wright, who has personally lost 170 pounds with the help of gastric bypass surgery, a desire to be healthy and the support of her husband and children.

"The money helps of course, so I will take this gift but in the future I want to help ease the financial burden of a fellow veteran to make sure he/she achieves their goal of graduating," she shared.

That dramatic weight loss gave the older student more confidence and the drive to finish her college degree ... not that her dreams end there.

"I don't think I'll stop at my Bachelor's degree. Long-term, I know I can finish my Master's in Organizational Leadership too. I want to be a leader on base, whether it's at Madigan, the VA or a unit attached to JBLM," Bockman-Wright said. "I hope to use this degree to help institute a better organizational process for veterans to receive the aid they deserve."

Brandman University, which serves 12,000 students annually, offers more then 50 undergraduate, graduate, credential and certificate programs across its schools of arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and health. For more information, go to www.Brandman.edu.

September 2, 2014 at 12:46pm

Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier wins FORSCOM NCO of the Year

From left, Staff Sgt. Peter Kacapyr, FORSCOM NCO of the Year; Cpl. Zachary E. Bandli, Staff Sgt. Luke R. Klein and Spc. Cole Spoon. Photo courtesy of Facebook

A reconnaissance team leader from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, and a signal support systems specialist from Fort Carson, Colo., were named U.S. Army Forces Command Noncommissioned Officer and Soldier of the Year, at a banquet Aug. 28, at Fort Bragg, N.C.

Six NCOs and six soldiers, representing the First Army, I Corps, III Corps, XVIII Airborne Corps, the 32nd Air and Missile Defense Command, National Training Center, and Joint Readiness Training Center, competed over four days to earn the title of FORSCOM NCO/Soldier of the Year.

Staff Sgt. Peter Kacapyr, an infantryman and reconnaissance team leader with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment, 3-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 7th Infantry Division, from JBLM, was named 2014 FORSCOM NCO of the Year.

Cpl. Zachery E. Bandli, a signal support systems specialist and retransmission operator assigned to 534th Signal Company, 43rd Special Troops Battalion, 43rd Sustainment Brigade, at Fort Carson, Colo., was named 2014 FORSCOM Soldier of the Year.

Competing alongside FORSCOM competitors were 4 NCOs and 3 Soldiers from the Continental U.S. Army Service Component Command. Staff Sgt. Luke R. Klein, an internment/resettlement NCO with the 339th Military Police Company, 525th MP Battalion, 302nd MP Brigade, currently serving as Joint Task Force Guantanamo Bay, was named CONUS ASCC NCO of the Year.

Spc. Cole Spoon, a microwave systems operator/installer and a network controller for the Southwest Asia Cyber Center, at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, was named CONUS ASCC Soldier of the Year.

All four winners will compete later this year at the Department of the Army NCO/Soldier of the Year competition.

May 30, 2014 at 5:11pm

Clover Park High School teachers named JROTC Outstanding Instructors of the Year

Clover Park High School’s Lt. Col. Gary Roberts and Senior Master Sgt. Maureen Arroyo were named AFJROTC Outstanding Instructors of the Year for 2013-14. Courtesy photo

Clover Park School District just send word that they employ two awesome AFJROTC instructors:

Clover Park High School's lieutenant colonel Gary Roberts and senior master sergeant Maureen Arroyo have been named Air Force Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (AFJROTC) Outstanding Instructors of the Year for the 2013-14 school year. The award recognizes AFJROTC instructors who make a significant impact on their students, unit, school and within the community.

The announcement was made May 15 by AFJROTC headquarters.

Filed under: Air Force, Awards, Military, Schools,

May 12, 2014 at 7:32am

Monday Morning Joe: DoD wants BRAC, Taliban spring offensive, military transgender ban, Navy NeRD, Tarantino Star Wars ...

Anti-Tank Platoon, 2nd Tank Battalion, 2nd Marine Division throws at Fort Pickett, Va. Original photo by Lance Cpl. Joey Mendez


Ukraine rebels claim victory.

Militants carried out a deadly attack on a government building in eastern Afghanistan and fired rockets near Kabul's main airport today as the Taliban began their annual spring offensive.

The Defense Department is calling on Congress to authorize another round of base realignments and closures because of excess capacity that is cutting into funding for troop readiness and other higher priority needs.

U.S. Air Force faces more tough choices in 2016.

Japan to take major step toward collective self-defense.

Cold War 2.0 at Sea.

Brad R. Carson is the Army's new undersecretary.

Slowing the growth of military pay and housing allowances, reducing commissary subsidies and adjusting TRICARE costs will save $31 billion over the next five years and enable readiness to be maintained, said Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno.

House lawmakers shot down most of the Pentagon's proposals to cut costs.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff says Fort Bragg will need to make adjustments as the military prepares for downsizing.

Hagel: Military should review transgender ban.

Debate grows over proposal for CIA to turn over drones to Pentagon.

Tomorrow's submarines could sink America's Navy.

Sailors drive potent new riverine boat in Persian Gulf.

Army designing next-generation protective mask.

"Arlington at 150" is the theme for sesquicentennial celebrations at Arlington National Cemetery, slated to run from tomorrow to June 16.

Service academy nominations often withheld from public.

The Navy has an e-reader for submarines: The NeRD.

A high-speed robot arm that snatches objects out of mid-air.

Why settle for snake skin boots when you can have the entire snake?

Cool: Jack White and Neil Young are appearing together on The Tonight Show tonight.

Yep: NBC canceled Community.

Parks and Recreation will end next year.

Larry Wilmore will take Stephen Colbert's slot on Comedy Central.

Finally: Eleven Comic-Book Superpowers the World Could Do Without.

Awesome: Mother's Day Game Show.

How Star Wars would be if it were a Tarantino film.

LINK: Original photo by Lance Cpl. Joey Mendez

May 6, 2014 at 8:03am

Tuesday Morning Joe: JBLM SecArmy Awards, House defense budget, Iranian threat, Super Army soldier, cruising with Wes Anderson ...

Bridge Company, 8th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group fires an M-32 Multiple Launcher during a coffee training exercise aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C. Original photo by Lance Cpl. Sullivan Laramie


Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier, civilian earn 2014 Secretary of the Army Awards.

House lawmakers released a $521 billion blueprint for the 2015 defense budget that rejects most of the Pentagon's cost-saving proposals.

The U.S. House Armed Services Committee wants to shift billions of dollars from things such as service contracts and museums to Pentagon weapon programs.

House Bill calls for $100 million slash to the annual commissary operating budget, which is two-thirds, over three years.

Iran will target American aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf should a war between the two countries ever break out.

The chairman of the U.S. House Armed Services Committee has drafted legislation that would require the Defense Department to re-write a major military strategy review that was sent to Congress in March.

U.S. signs new lease to keep strategic military installation in the Horn of Africa.

Pentagon pressured to show progress on assaults.

Report: LAX control center's computers crashed while tracking U-2 - the plane, not the band.

The American Legion is demanding the immediate resignation of Veteran Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki and two other top VA leaders.

King Stallion: Newest Marine helicopter gets a royal rollout.

In July, the U.S. Army will make its first big decision on how to proceed with the ambitious, decades-long developmental project to replace up to 4,000 Apache and Black Hawk helicopters by the mid-2030s.

DARPA's Warrior Web project may provide super-human enhancements.

A small study that has shown results using the drug MDMA and conventional therapy to treat PTSD could be of significant value.

Cool: A video that clearly explains the dimensions of the Moon in relation to other things.

It's hard to believe these paintings are not 3D images.

Preview Arcade Fire's new video which stars Andrew Garfield.

Weird:Vampire Weekend's Ezra Koenig sings the theme for a new Seinfeld-themed video game.

Take a cruise with Wes Anderson, Jason Schwartzman and Tilda Swinton.

Finally: Weird sketches they cut from SNL.

LINK: Original photo by Lance Cpl. Sullivan Laramie

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News and entertainment from Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s most awesome weekly newspapers - The Ranger, Northwest Airlifter and Weekly Volcano.

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