Located just minutes from Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM), the largest military installation in the western U.S., Lacey has long recognized the value JBLM brings to the region. Many soldiers and military families call Lacey their home.
The City embraces partnerships with the military community through the JBLM Community Connections Program, the Lacey Subchapter of AUSA, and the South Sound Military & Communities Partnership (SSMCP). Local service clubs host community events to celebrate the many assets military families bring to the community.
The South Puget Sound Region has been designated a “Great American Defense Community” by the Association of Defense Communities (ADC).
“For the region to be recognized nationally like this is really an honor. I know in Lacey, as well as other communities that support the South Sound Military & Communities Partnership, we truly value our military-community relationships. On both sides, we strive to work towards building a strong community, together.”Mayor Andy Ryder
Visit ADC’s website to learn more about the association.
Thurston Economic Development Council Center for Business and Innovation has established a Veterans Microenterprise Program (VMP) designed to help veterans plan, open, and operate a small business. Veterans who live in the City of Lacey or the Lacey Urban Growth area, plan to open a business in the City of Lacey, and meet the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development “low to moderate income” criteria ($41,550 for a one person household to $78,500 for an eight person household) are eligible for enhanced services through VMP. Veterans interested in the program should contact the Thurston Economic Development Council at (360) 754-6320, email@example.com, www.thurstonedc.com/veterans.
The Lacey Veterans Services Hub (LVSH) opened in late-2014 and remains a resource for veterans and families in our community.
Services offered at the LVSH include:
Various local agencies, community groups, and businesses, including the City of Lacey, “adopted” units from the 1-2 Stryker Brigade stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) through the Community Connections Program. A win-win endeavor—the program engages the military and local communities, enhances understanding of the military and JBLM, and develops strong and positive community partnerships.
Through this program, Lacey has benefited from countless volunteer hours provided by the soldiers—enhancing community projects and parks. By investing time in service projects, the soldiers form an appreciation for the community, they add value through service, and strengthen interpersonal ties. As a reciprocal relationship, military personnel and their families are invited to participate in community events by their community partners. Having a place to call “home” can make for an easier transition for soldiers returning from deployment.
The focus of community support was refined in 2010 with the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) Lacey subchapter formation. The group facilitates Lacey community efforts to deliver services and support to military personnel and their families. Through this partnership, the 1-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team (1-2 SBCT) became Lacey’s official adopted unit.
The 1-2 Stryker Brigade, also known as the “Ghost Brigade,” was named for its trademark Stryker vehicle. It has a rich history, dating back to its origin in Fort Ethan Allen, Vermont in 1917. To learn more about the brigade and for its recent news feeds, visit their website for their latest information.
South Sound Military & Communities Partnership (SSMCP) facilitates regional planning efforts for Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM). The partnership consists of cities, counties, business, education, and state agencies, working together with JBLM to meet the needs of the military and the communities.
Being the second-largest employer in the State of Washington, JBLM provides economic benefits to the South Puget Sound region. In return, Lacey and other surrounding communities enhance the quality of life for military personnel and families by building quality neighborhoods, infrastructure, schools, recreation opportunities, and services.
The South Sound Military & Communities Partnership was born out of a collaborative planning process, the Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) Growth Coordination Plan, to support and guide development of the military presence in the South Puget Sound region. A steering committee—with representation from Lacey—filters ongoing military-related matters and directs them to the appropriate community resources. Visit the SSMCP website for more information.