Coffee Strong, antiwar GI groups concluding West Coast outreach tour in Puget Sound

Staff writerFebruary 27, 2014 

Members of the antiwar veterans advocacy group that makes its home across the highway from Joint Base Lewis-McChord are wrapping up a West Coast tour this weekend with events in the Puget Sound.

Coffee Strong, the Lakewood veterans organization, joined with two other advocacy groups from Texas and Germany for a San Diego-to-Everett tour promoting their GI outreach centers.

They plan to be in Olympia at 2 p.m. Saturday for an event with Vietnam veterans at the Olympia Unitarian Universalist Church, 2200 East End St. NW, Olympia.

The 12-city tour has brought together “a real interesting collection of civilian supporters and veterans,” said Alex Bacon, a former Coast Guard member who is Coffee Strong’s operations director.

Coffee Strong in recent years has drawn attention to mental health complaints at Lewis-McChord, brought an Iraqi heavy metal band to Lakewood and offered services to soldiers outside of their chain of command.

Lately, Bacon said, the group has been helping veterans with claims for benefits.

“More and more of our work has been helping people who are on their way out of the Army get their full benefits or helping people who have been inappropriately kicked out rectify their records,” he said.

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