Message from the Director - June Veteran Voices


David Puente

Your Washington Department of Veterans Affairs continues to look for opportunities to engage with and serve Veterans across our great state and May was an especially busy month!

On May 22, we had the opportunity to hold a town hall in West Richland to discuss a proposed State Veterans Cemetery in the Tri-Cities area.  While we are at the very beginning stages of this concept, it was wonderful to see how engaged and supportive the community is.  I want to express gratitude for the Tri-Cities Communities' active participation and valuable feedback at the meeting. The town hall provided an opportunity for residents to voice their concerns, suggestions, and ideas, contributing to the ongoing development and improvement of our vibrant communities.  We will be sharing information, include a section for questions and answers on our website at  You can also ask questions or get additional information by reaching out to


On May 29, Steve Gill, Interim Assistant Director Veteran Services & Counseling and Wellness, and I had the privilege of meeting with The Confederate Tribe of Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) Board of Trustees and Veterans Coordinator. The CTUIR, which represents the union of three tribes - Cayuse, Umatilla, and Walla Walla, engaged with us in a discussion regarding the possibility of establishing a Tri Cities State Veterans Cemetery.  The conversation was meaningful, and CTUIR and WDVA expressed their support for continuing the conversation as the process moves forward.


I also had the privilege of participating in Memorial Day events at the Capitol. Thank you to the Northwest Paralyzed Veterans of America (NWPVA), Thurston County Veterans Council and the Vietnam Veterans Legacy Veterans Motorcycle Club, who organized heartfelt remembrance events on Capitol Campus. The events honored and remembered the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving in the United States Armed Forces.  You can check out photos from these and other events at

David Puente on Memorial Day