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OLYMPIA – Washington veterans will speak about their military experiences in honor of Veterans Day at a ceremony from noon to 1 p.m., Nov. 7, on the state capitol campus in Olympia.

The public is invited to gather first at the WWII Memorial near the corner of Capitol Way South and 11th Avenue Southeast. Event attendees will then walk to the Winged Victory Monument, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall and conclude at the Korean War Memorial, hearing a speaker and music at each stop.

The speakers:

  • Army veteran and Meritorious Service Medal recipient Jennifer Prewitt. She currently works at WorkSource Joint Base Lewis-McChord, helping soldiers transition to civilian life.
  • Steve Severson, Marine Corps veteran. Severson completed two tours of duty in Afghanistan and now connects businesses in Thurston and Lewis counties with veteran employees.
  • Katrina Stensgaard, Army veteran. Stensgaard was an intelligence analyst, serving for over 15 years in Afghanistan, Iraq, Korea and the Philippines. She currently works for the Washington Service Corps.
  • Army veteran Don Meseck. Meseck retired from the Army Reserve after 26 years and 16 overseas assignments. His decorations include the Combat Action Badge and Bronze Star. He currently works as a labor economist with the Employment Security Department.

The Veterans Day ceremony is the 28th annual event sponsored by the International Association of Workforce Professionals (IAWP) and the Employment Security Department’s Veteran Employee Resource Group.

Billie Wright, Employment Security’s chief human resources officer and a military spouse, will emcee the event. The Washington National Guard will present the colors. Singers Pierre Bell and Jeanette Nelson of Employment Security, and musician Vincent Anderson of the Health Care Authority, will perform patriotic songs. The Spanaway Lake High School Music Company also will perform. Anderson will formally end the ceremony with “Taps.”

“IAWP has been a proud sponsor of this ceremony for all of its 28 years,” said Rebekah Wilkes, president of IAWP’s Southwest Sub-chapter. “We’re honored to host this free event, bringing you four Washington veterans to share their thoughts and wisdom this Veterans Day. Please join us!”

Flags will be available for participants to place at the memorials.       

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