Mary Forbes. director of the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs, thanks female veterans for their service at the annual Federal Way Vet Center barbecue. Photo courtesy of Bruce Honda

Mary Forbes. director of the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs, thanks female veterans for their service at the annual Federal Way Vet Center barbecue. Photo courtesy of Bruce Honda

Female veterans honored at Federal Way barbecue

The Federal Way Vet Center honored women who served in the armed forces at annual barbecue.

In keeping with tradition, Federal Way’s Veteran Center recently honored female veterans during the annual summertime barbecue.

The event took place in the parking lot outside of their office at 32nd Avenue South.

The Vet Center community saw great recognition of Vietnam veterans at last year’s celebration and wanted to keep it going, said Dr. Amy Morris, director of the Federal Way center.

The choice to honor female veterans, Morris said, was an easy one.

“We’ve built a very strong women’s community here.”

Mayor Jim Ferrell also spoke during the event, thanking the female veterans for their service.

“The women have really added a great foundation and service to our community, to our country,” Ferrell said. “Their service needs to be respected and honored.”

Morris said the Vet Center wants to enchance their perceptions in the community.

“The Federal Way Vet Center has been here since 2011, but it took a while for people to start finding out that we were here,” Morris said. “We are always trying to figure out more ways to increase community awareness of the Vet Center to augment our outreach to the veterans in this area who don’t yet know about the Vet Center.”

As for the barbecue, Morris said she was pleased with the large turnout.

“I think there were more people at our event today than last year; each year it’s been getting bigger than the year before.”

While Morris is not a veteran herself, she has worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs for nearly 40 years.

She started working for the VA because, at the time, she was studying for her doctorate degree and the department offered some of the best training available. Now almost four decades later, Morris said she loves working for those who served our country in an environment that “has always been open to innovation and creativity in the services provided, and I like that.”

A female veteran waves to the camera during the Federal Way Vet Center barbecue that thanked women for their service to the armed forces. Haley Donwerth /staff photo

A female veteran waves to the camera during the Federal Way Vet Center barbecue that thanked women for their service to the armed forces. Haley Donwerth /staff photo

All of the female veterans in attendance at the Federal Way Vet Center barbecue smile for a photo. Haley Donwerth/staff photo

All of the female veterans in attendance at the Federal Way Vet Center barbecue smile for a photo. Haley Donwerth/staff photo

Attendees of the Federal Way Vet Center barbecue peruse tables before the honoring ceremony begins. Photo courtesy of Bruce Honda

Attendees of the Federal Way Vet Center barbecue peruse tables before the honoring ceremony begins. Photo courtesy of Bruce Honda

Dr. Amy Morris presents Mary Forbes with an award during the Vet Center barbecue. Haley Donwerth/staff photo

Dr. Amy Morris presents Mary Forbes with an award during the Vet Center barbecue. Haley Donwerth/staff photo

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