Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. – A Soldier who returned this summer from duty in Afghanistan and his family will join Gov. Christine Gregoire Dec. 3 to light the Holiday Tree in the rotunda of the Capitol Building in Olympia.
Sgt. Kevin Barretta, Company C., 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, along with his wife Amanda and their children Madison, 6, and Abigail, 2, will represent Joint Base Lewis-McChord through participation in the Holiday Tree lighting ceremony.
Sgt. Barretta has been assigned to the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team for more than four years and deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom from July 2009 through June 2010. He has served in many infantry positions such as rifleman, automatic rifleman, team leader, and squad leader. As a rifle team leader, Sgt. Barretta led his men on more than 200 missions and patrols in Zabul and Helmand Provinces, Afghanistan. His excellent leadership and care for Soldiers has made him an integral part of the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team. Sgt. Barretta is originally from Newman, Calif.
For more than 20 years, the Association of Washington Business has sponsored the Holiday Tree at the Washington State Capitol. This year, a 25-foot Noble fir will be lit at what has become an annual holiday tradition for the governor, fire departments, families and the community to come together.
The Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony begins at 6 p.m. in the Washington State Capitol Rotunda Legislative Building in Olympia with musical selections from Kids in Koncert. Just before 6:30 p.m. the lighting will take place with Gov. Christine Gregoire and the Barretta Family.
Over the past several years an Army Reserve Soldier or National Guard Soldier from Washington State has participated in the Holiday Tree lighting. This year the state asked JBLM to select an active-duty Soldier and family from the base to participate.
“It’s an honor for Sgt. Barretta and his family to not only participate in the tree lighting in Olympia, but to represent all the military men and women at JBLM who serve our country,” said CSM Frank A. Grippe, command sergeant major of I Corps. “This is also an opportunity for all the leaders at the base to thank everyone in our surrounding communities for supporting our Soldiers and their Families. Thank you.”
Sgt. Barretta, as well as his wife and children, will be available to speak with media before or after the tree-lighting ceremony.
For more information about the Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony, contact Jocelyn McCabe, Association of Washington Business, 360-943-1600.