This week, the Lakewood City Council closed a significant chapter in the City's history with Joint Base Lewis-McChord, as well as turned the pages on a new one.
4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division - the City of Lakewood's Community Connector to JBLM for nearly a decade - recognized the community for its help and support throughout the years. The Raider Brigade officially inactivated in March.
Col. Jody Miller, Commander of the Raider Brigade, recognized the City for its support. Miller presented Mayor Don Anderson with the Order of Saint Maurice Award, which recognizes individuals who have contributed significantly to the Infantry in ways that stand out in the eyes of the recipient's seniors, subordinates and peers.
Over the years, the Lakewood City Council attended numerous official brigade functions, including Changes of Command, Colors Casing and Uncasing ceremonies and memorial dedications. The Mayor and the Lakewood team personally greeted and thanked the brigades returing soldiers right on the McChord Field tarmac. And of course, the City organized the giant "Welcome Home" parade and community celebration Sept. 15, 2013.
Miller also presented Denise Dhane with the Shield of Sparta Award. which recognizes individuals who have contributed significantly to the promotion of the Infantry and the families of Infantrymen and women, in ways that stand out in the eyes of the recipeint's peers.
Dhane, a Steilacoom resident, spearheaded "Operation Make a Soldier Smile," for the Captain Meriweather Lewis Chapeter of the Association of the United States Army. She sent packages to thousands of Soldiers and Infantrymen overseas until postage became prohibitive. Through her tenacity, she assembled more than 4,300 goody bags of community donated goods, valued at approximately $75,000, to welcome returning Soldiers back to JBLM.
Miller called Lakewood "the best Community Connector around."
Click here to see a photo gallery of the ceremonies.
On the same night, the City of Lakewood officially welcomed its new Community Connector - 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, otherwise known as the Lancer Brigade.
Col. Louis Zeisman, Commander for the 2-2, told the City Council how much he is looking forward to becoming an integral part of Lakewood.