Some of you might have noticed a big change to what was formerly known as Lakewood Patch.
Today, this vibrant community news and engagement website officially became Lakewood-JBLM Patch.
It's now the fourth community in Patch's nationwide network of websites to cover a U.S. military base. The others are Oceanside-Camp Pendleton (CA), Fort Bragg (NC) and Fort Stewart (GA). None of us are endorsed or sponsored by the military, but we're serving as vital pieces for their communities.
If you've grown up or live in the South Sound, the inclusion of JBLM makes perfect sense. Lakewood and other communities in the region are intrinsically connected to the base, which longtimers still refer to as Fort Lewis and McChord Air Force Base.
JBLM soldiers, airmen, military personnel and their families live, attend school, drive the roads and shop in our communities. And we're honored and proud of it.
We editors pushed for Patch to officially recognize Joint Base Lewis-McChord. One of us has a son currently stationed there. My uncle, a retired Army sergeant major, lives in Spanaway and follows JBLM and happenings religiously. My cousin, a Gulf War veteran, is a recruiter for the Washington National Guard and often works at nearby Camp Murray. Basically, we have personal connections to our local military and want them to feel connected.
It also won't be a huge stretch for Lakewood Patch, as we've provided regular coverage of JBLM news, features and events since we launched in 2010. That won't change.
The one thing I am asking is that the JBLM community - from active personnel to wives to retirees - consider this another resource to help you stay connected to the South Sound and beyond. You can post events. Become one of our bloggers. Share your pride on our announcements page. Comment often. Sign up for our daily newsletter and breaking news alerts.
And if you're not from the South Sound, chances are there's a Patch in your hometown.
Trust me when I say that we editors couldn't be prouder of recognizing JBLM. You help protect us and make sacrifices most of us never have to consider. Covering and engaging in your daily lives is the least we can do. Thank you.