Champions of Change
COL (Retired) Mary Forbes graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1983, the U.S. Army War College in 2006, and served on active duty with the U.S. Army and the Washington Army National Guard for over 26 years. As the Assistant Director for Veterans Services for the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs, Forbes champions the federal and state initiatives to end veteran homelessness. Her efforts have resulted in communities greatly expanding their capacity to serve homeless veterans and significantly reduced the number of homeless veterans in the state over the last 4 years. To prepare for reductions in military forces, Forbes spearheaded an effort at Joint Base Lewis McChord to help transitioning veterans identify employment and education options for life after military service. Forbes’ guiding principles of building partnerships, fostering productive relationships and providing world-class customer service at the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs has proven to be a success for the veterans and their families in Washington State.