The Auburn Veterans Parade is one of the largest of its kind in the country. The the Federal Way Vet Center will participate in the event again this year. RACHEL CIAMPI, Auburn Reporter

The Auburn Veterans Parade is one of the largest of its kind in the country. The the Federal Way Vet Center will participate in the event again this year. RACHEL CIAMPI, Auburn Reporter

Thank a veteran on Veterans Day

The Federal Way Vet Center wants to ensure no veteran feels excluded this year.

For Veterans Day, the Federal Way Vet Center is ensuring no veteran feels forgotten.

Pete Smith, outreach and education coordinator for the Vet Center, said there are three main events they are participating in.

First, the Vet Center has partnered with Brookdale Foundation House to visit with the seniors living there this Friday, Nov. 8 starting at 10 a.m.

Smith said there are currently 12 veterans living at the facility, so while he is looking forward to visiting with all of the seniors they meet, he is especially excited to connect with those veterans and let them know they are not forgotten.

Paula Smith, the resident programs director at Brookdale, said she is excited to be working with the Vet Center again.

“They came last year and everybody really enjoyed it, they brought blankets and shoes for the veterans,” she said.

She is expecting to continue this partnership with the Vet Center over the coming years because it means so much to the residents.

Smith said the event will offer baked goods and hot beverages as well as gifts for the veterans there, including specially made coins and pins, and a choir performance.

The Vet Center will also be giving out different donated items to the seniors at Brookdale as part of the celebration.

“This is dear to my heart,” Smith said. “Older veterans… they don’t always get people coming to see them, and we have to stick together.”

The next event is the annual Veterans Day Parade in Auburn, an event Smith said the center participates in every year. The parade will begin at 11 a.m. on Nov. 9 on East Main Street.

Lastly, Smith said he is starting to gather donations from local Dollar Trees as part of Operation Homefront, which helps provides Christmas toys to children of veterans and active duty military members.

He is beginning his collection this week, and is going to be picking up donations every Monday and Friday to be sorted and given out to veterans and active duty families in time for the winter holiday.

Operation Homefront, a certified nonprofit, is a nation-wide event aimed toward helping the families and children of veterans and active duty military members by providing them with Christmas gifts in the winter and school supplies around back-to-school.

According to their website, Operation Homefront’s mission is “to build strong, stable, and secure military families so they can thrive — not simply struggle to get by — in the communities they have worked so hard to protect.”

More information and ways to give can be found at

Smith said people can donate by shopping at the Dollar Tree locations through December and selecting certain toys at checkout.

Smith wants to ensure that everyone in the Federal Way community is aware of these events so they can come out and support their veterans.

“I think anyone can take an hour out of their schedule to go talk to and thank veterans on Veterans Day.”

More information about these events and what else the Federal Way Vet Center has to offer can be found out by calling them at 253-838-3090 or visiting them at 32020 32nd Ave. S. in Federal Way.

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