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VFW honors fire fighters and EMTs for service

Jeri Freeburg of the King County Fire District 28 department and Keith Lambertus of the Buckley Volunteer Fire Department were recognized by the Enumclaw Post 1949 Veterans of Foreign Wars Post for their emergency medical and firefighter service.

Freeburg was recognized for her professionalism and compassion in medical assistance during her relatively short tenure as an emergency medical technician. Lambertus, a lieutenant with the Buckley department, was recognized for his commitment to the community, the fire service and fire fighters and his dedication to training fire department personnel.

Since 2002, Lambertus has been academy commander for the regional Volunteer Firefighter Training Academy.

The VFW annually recognizes local EMTs and fire fighters for their contributions and service to the community. Freeburg and Lambertus received their awards during the Dec. 9 Enumclaw VFW Post meeting. Commander Elbert Reed presented the honorees with their awards, while noting the dedication and selflessness shown by all first responders. Members from both departments were present as were the awardees’ families.

Kaylee Garrett, last year’s recipient of the EMT award, went on to be recognized by the VFW Department of Washington for her efforts.

White River High School senior Kali Tretheway was recognized for her first-place essay in the local Voice of Democracy scholarship program. WRHS students Megan Maineand and Kayla Thurston were awarded second and third place respectively.

Tretheway and her mother were recognized at the Dec. 12 meeting of the Enumclaw VFW Post. Dennis Stevenson, Post 1949 VOD chair, presented Tretheway with a plaque and a scholarship check following her speech to the assembled group. Her entry now goes to the VFW District competition where Post members feel she has an excellent chance of winning.

The Post also recognized Trisha Harjehauen, WRHS social studies teacher, with a special award for her continuing efforts in encouraging students to participate in the Voice of Democracy program. Harjehauen was recognized for her enthusiasm, dedication and support to her students.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars annually conducts the nationwide Voice of Democracy scholarship program; providing more than $10,000 dollars in scholarships to the national winners. Last year’s Washington state winner received more than $6,000 prior to competing in the national competition. The program requires high school students to write and read a 3- to 5-minute essay on the assigned theme; which this year was “Does My Generation Have a Role in America’s Future?”

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