Honeyford receives award for service to veterans and their families

With veterans looking on Friday, Lourdes (Alfie) Alvarado-Ramos, director of Washington’s Department of Veteran Affairs, presented Sen. Jim Honeyford with the 2018 Outstanding Service to Veterans – Legislator of the Year Award for his service to Washington’s veterans and their families.

“It is really an honor to receive this recognition,” said Honeyford, R-Sunnyside. “I’ve always believed that our veterans deserve so much more than just our thanks; they deserve to know that they are appreciated and valued and that we will demonstrate our appreciation through actions that make their lives better.

“I am happy that the Legislature has stepped up in recent years with a number of proposals to aid our veterans and their families. From educational opportunities to property-tax relief to addressing mental-health needs, we as a state must answer the call of our veterans.”

The Outstanding Service to Veterans awards – co-sponsored each year by the Governor’s Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee (VAAC) and the state Department of Veterans Affairs – recognize individuals who devote time and energy to improving the lives of Washington’s veterans and their families.

Alvarado-Ramos called Honeyford a “champion on veterans’ issues” and thanked him for being a leading voice in the Senate.

“We are honored and happy to recognize Senator Honeyford for all of his efforts when it comes to serving veterans and their families,” said Alvarado-Ramos. “Every year, he conducts a Wreaths Across America event here in the Capitol building to honor those who have fallen. It is so important to say thank you to the veterans and their families who deserve that recognition. …This is important; it’s dignified, and it’s something that he has done for many years. And we value that and appreciate it, as an agency and as a veterans community.

“His heart is with those who serve.”

Washington is home to 598,000 veterans, 60,000 active duty, 19,000 guard and reserves, and 2 million military-family members.

The Veterans Advisory Committee and DVA named Honeyford the award recipient in October.