The Daily Mash-Up

Friday, July 21, 2017 This Week's Paper
Murray to host veterans event at STAR Center

Metro Parks announced today that Sen. Patty Murray will host a field hearing of the United States Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs’called “Washington’s Veterans: Helping the Newest Generation Transition Home” tomorrow at STAR Center, 3873 South 66th St.

This official U.S. Senate field hearing will explore how the military, veterans, business, and non-profit communities can work together to improve the transition home for those returning to Washington state. In particular, the hearing will focus on improving mental health care, employment opportunities, and community outreach for returning veterans.

STAR (South Tacoma Activity & Recreation) Center, which will celebrate its grand opening in South Tacoma next month, was selected from a pool of 24 possible venues for the hearing. Field hearings are rare, happening only a few times annually from the entire senate. This marks the second such hearing which Senator Murray has hosted during her 18 years in office.

“We’re honored by the committee’s selection of STAR Center as the venue for this important public hearing,” said Jack C. Wilson, Metro Parks Tacoma Executive Director. “Hosting this national event as our staff prepares for the center’s grand opening next month, demonstrates the value and need for this facility in serving our community. STAR Center on the SERA Campus is already becoming a hub for our servicemen and women, along with their families and the broader community, to explore life-enriching experiences.”

Metro Parks’ Adaptive Recreation program, which is based out of STAR Center and the wealth of programs offered at STAR Center to serve the broad community, have already proven beneficial for service members, veterans and their families as they transition back into their communities. The Adaptive Recreation program integrates civilians, as well as veterans and injured active-duty soldiers from Warrior Transition Battalion from Joint Base Lewis McChord.

Two Warrior in Transition Battalion members traveled with their civilian teammates from the Tacoma Titans, to compete at the Paralympics just last week, where they finished 18th in the country during the National Championships.

“We are the only Paralympic Sport Club in the South Sound Region,” said Parker Ayers, Metro Parks Tacoma Adaptive Recreation Specialist. “Our partnership with Joint Base Lewis McChord Warrior Transition Battalion enables us to serve many of the active-duty and veteran soldiers - two of whom play for the Titans - who have been wounded in combat.”