Sunday, October 23, 2011

Local AUSA Chapter Takes Home National Gold

After forming eleven subchapters to support the thousands of service members on Joint Base Lewis McChord (JBLM), the Captain Meriwether Lewis Chapter of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA), was recognized nationally by receiving the “Best Chapter” award in its membership category in Washington, D.C. earlier in October.

The eleven subchapters were formed to complement JBLM’s Community Connector program by simply encouraging city officials and business leaders to embrace the soldiers and their families, especially during deployments.   Today, subchapters have been established in the Cities of Lacey, Steilacoom, Lakewood, DuPont, Tacoma, Fife/Milton, Puyallup, Olympia, Tumwater, Yakima and Camp Murray (National Guard).

These subchapters became beneficial when over 17,000 soldiers returned home from war in late 2010.   Over $100,000 was raised to coordinate three welcome home picnics for the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Teams.   Since that time, the formation of subchapters has become popular among the different brigades on JBLM, leading to the eleven existing today.

Featured in the picture from left to right:  General Gordon Sullivan (AUSA CEO and past Army Joint Chief of Staff), CSM Dan Verbeke (the Rear Detachment I Corps CSM), SFC Leroy Petry (Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient), Carlene Joseph (Captain Meriwether Lewis Chapter President & Harborstone Credit Union VP), John Hemphill (MG Retired), CSM Matt Barnes (Garrison CSM), Roger Thompson (LTG Retired and AUSA Director).

In addition to unwavering community support, to include the local chambers of commerce, the Captain Meriwether Lewis Chapter benefits from strong business alliances, such as with the Pierce Military and Business Alliance.  This group consists of the Boeing Company, Harborstone Credit Union, America’s Credit Union, American Lake Credit Union, Support America’s Armed Forces, Regence BlueShield, TriWest Healthcare Alliance,, Tactical Tailor, Concrete Technology Corp., the Ranger/Northwest Airlifter, the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce, Luce, Lineberry & Kenney Law Firm, the Pierce County Council, Northwest Credit Union Foundation, and GEICO Insurance.

Congratulations Captain Meriwether Lewis Chapter of the Association of the United States Army, its Pres. Carlene Joseph and its members, firms and organizations for a job well done!

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