On Friday, March 14, the Army conducted the official inactivation ceremony for4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division (Stryker) at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
And with it, Lakewood officially said goodbye to its longtime Community Connector to the base.
The ceremony marked the end of a remarkable relationship between the City and the Raider Brigade. The two were intertwined, as much as a community and brigade could be.
When the 4-2 returned from deployment and rejoined their families and friends, the City celebrated. When they lost a soldier, the City mourned. Lakewood was mentioned multiple times on the official Army video about the Brigade, which can be viewed on the City of Lakewood's hompage .
Raider Brigade soldiers were seen throughout the community, whether it was volunteering at a community festival, thanking a business owner or speaking to elementary school students about the importance of Veterans Day.
On Friday, the 4-2 recognized the City for its support and gave Lakewood an award for organizing a community parade when the Brigade returned from deployment in 2013. It also recognized former Lakewood Mayor and Pierce County Councilman Douglas Richardson with the highest civilian honor for his support of the Brigade during his tenure.
The ceremony had special meaning for Lakewood City Councilmember John Simpson, who as a journalist embedded twice with the Brigade while overseas, something for which he said was an honor.
He added that while Friday marked the end of Lakewood's relationship with the 4-2, the community can reflect on the unique connection it had to the Raider Brigade.
"This is a good day," Simpson said. "It marks the end of a great chapter in Lakewood's history."
Again, the City thanks every member of the Raider Brigade and their families for our relationship, which Lakewood will never forget. We also can't wait to start a new relationship with our new Community Connector, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division .
Click here to view a Facebook photo gallery of Friday's festivities.