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VA Puget Sound to honor 100-year-old veterans at 100th Anniversary of its American Lake campus

100 Years American Lake - Caring for our Nation's Heroes, American Lake March 15, 1924 - March 15, 2024.  We honor 100-year-old Veterans...

VA Puget Sound Health Care System will be honoring local 100-year-old, WWII veterans (nine are confirmed) to mark the first patients transferred to its American Lake hospital March 15, 1924. The celebration is VA Puget Sound’s largest gathering of centenarian veterans in its history.

Joining the VA on stage in honoring local Veterans is Lakewood Mayor Jason Whalen, Madigan Army Medical Center Commander Col. Hope Williamson-Younce, Seahawks Legend and Ring of Honor Member Jim Zorn, Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs Director David Puente Jr. and others. Family and friends of the honored Veterans, staff and members of the community are expected to attend the free event.

Seattle-based Warren Dunes Lead Singer Julia Massey, whose paternal grandparents both served in WWII, will be the special musical guest.

What:   VA Puget Sound’s American Lake Campus 100th Anniversary Celebration

Who: In-person Veterans being honored (given their ages, this may change up to event day):

  • Richard A. Thomas, U.S. Army Staff Sgt with 422nd Infantry Regiment, WWII (105)
  • Edward A. Sterling III, Lt. Col. U.S. Army chaplain and ordinance, WWII, Korean War and Vietnam War (103)
  • Leo J. Thoennes, U.S. Army with 555th Anti-Aircraft Battalion & 104th Infantry Division WWII and Korean War (102)
  • Captain Dick Nelms, U.S. Army Air Forces B-17 bomber pilot, WWII (101)
  • Wallace M. Nopson, U.S. Coast Guard gunner’s mate on USS General HL Scott, WWII (101)
  • Victor J. Layton, U.S. Army Private 1st Class, WWII (100)
  • Robert G.  Anderson: U.S. Army Master Sgt. with Engineer Combat Group Headquarters, WWII (100) 
  • Kenneth K. Thompson, U.S. Army Private 1st Class, WWII (turns 100 on event date)
  • Walter E. Ketterling: U.S. Army, 386th Infantry Regiment, 97th Infantry Division, Company D, WWII (turns 100 April 2, 2024) 

When/Where:  March 15, 2024 from 4 to 6 p.m. at VA Puget Sound’s American Lake Campus, 9600 Veterans Drive Southwest in Lakewood, Washington.

Media interested in covering the event should contact Tami Begasse at 425.417.6929 (mobile), 206.277.1711 (office) or