Friday, March 3, Sen. Steve O’Ban, R-University Place, is honoring the 100th anniversary of Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) with Senate Resolution 8627. The resolution traces the pivotal history JBLM has played for the United States and the region in both World Wars, the Korean War, the Cold War, the Gulf War, and the wars against terrorism.
JBLM began in 1917 when the citizens of Pierce County voted to purchase 70,000 acres to donate to the federal government for use as a military camp. Camp Lewis began construction the same year,
when troops under the direction of Capt. David L. Stone created more than one thousand seven-hundred and fifty buildings in less than 90 days. Currently, JBLM is one of the largest and most important bases in the United States. It has a $6.1 billion dollar impact on the state economy, represents a third of the Pierce County economy, and is the state’s second largest employer.
“The decision to build Camp Lewis 100 years ago literally helped save the world from tyranny,” said O’Ban. “JBLM, and the men and women who serve there today, continue to make history and bring honor to this state.”
The Senate will open with the National Anthem. Flags will decorate the desks of the Senate and a slide show of historic photos of JBLM will play as the text of the resolution is read in full. Guests seated at the Rostrum will include Sergeant Major Kenneth Breeding, of the Commander’s Initiatives Group, Lourdes E. ‘Alfie’ Alvarado-Ramos, the Director of the Washington Department of Veterans Affairs, and Col. Timothy King, Deputy Chief of Staff, I Corps.
“JBLM is national treasure,” O’Ban said. “I hope this year all Washingtonians will pause and take the time to learn just how important JBLM currently is to this state, and how important it has been to the world. And we should also acknowledge that JBLM is by far the largest employer in Pierce County and vital to the economic well-being of thousands of civilian families”
JBLM will celebrate its centennial birthday with numerous events throughout the remainder of the year.