By Sgt. Mark MirandaJuly 22, 2011
The Lakewood Chamber of Commerce held its monthly meeting with guests invited by its Military Affairs Committee at a local restaurant July 19.
Several organizations gave presentations on how they contribute time, effort or resources to the military community and took time to honor two Soldiers that will represent Joint Base Lewis-McChord at the Forces Command-level Soldier and Noncommissioned Officer of the Year competitions at Fort Hood, Texas July 25-29.
“We all contribute as pieces in this great community puzzle that supports the servicemembers at Lewis-McChord,” said Tommy Carson, a co-chair of the chamber’s Military Affairs Committee.
Through the MAC’s work with Pierce Military and Business Alliance, local businesses raised donations for organizations including Association of the United States Army and ‘Operation: Warm Heart.’
“We absolutely love what you (military servicemembers) do, and it’s our way of saying thanks,” said Benita Corley, Director of Sales for Clarion Hotels, one of the member businesses.
I Corps Task Force Clark’s Command Sgt. Maj. Daniel Verbeke introduced two Soldiers who stood out during last month’s Soldier and NCO of the Year competition.
Spc. Steven Capen, a combat medic assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 62nd Medical Brigade will compete as I Corps’ Soldier of the Year. Sgt. Haidang Le, an infantryman assigned to 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division will compete at Fort Hood as I Corps’ NCO of the Year.
The Lakewood Chamber of Commerce concluded its meeting by presenting Capen and Le with gifts to “show appreciation to two Soldiers who will represent the JBLM military community, of which we’re so proud,” said Linda Smith, Director of the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce.
“It’s definitely an honor to be recognized, and the support has been just overwhelming. I’m happy for the opportunity to represent JBLM next week,” said Capen.