Bringing Veterans Back Home

November 2, 2011

Evergreen Veterans Day Commemoration Focuses on the Deeper Meaning of ‘Bringing Veterans Back Home’

Speakers Share Thoughts for Establishing and Re-establishing Networks of Support and Stability for Returning Veterans

The Evergreen State College ‘Bringing our Veterans Back Home’ event on November 8 at 10 a.m. at the Tacoma campus and November 10 at noon at the Olympia campus will draw together veterans and their supporters. The events will include perspectives from Evergreen staff, students and faculty as well as thoughts from community members involved in programs to help veterans succeed once they return home.

Master of Ceremonies

Lyndel Egolf

Evergreen Staff

Lyndel Egolf joined the Navy in 1973 and was honorably discharged in 1978 after spending over three of those years as a Radioman at Naval Communication Station (NAVCOMSTA), Rota, Spain. Following her Navy experience she received her Associate Degree, spent time working in the construction field and joined the Air Force Reserve, as a carpenter in a Primary Base Engineering Emergency Force at McClellan Air Force Base in Sacramento, CA, while at the same time returning to college at CSU Sacramento to complete her Bachelor Degree. Egolf recently completed her Master of Public Administration degree at Evergreen and is currently utilizing the Office of Veterans Business Development to assist her in starting a small business of her own.


Colonel (Retired) Mary Forbes

Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs

Mary Forbes has served as the Assistant Director of Veterans Services and Behavioral Health for the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs in Olympia Washington since July 2010. Forbes graduated from the US Military Academy at West Point in 1983 and the US Army War College in 2006. She has served on active duty for over 26 years in a variety of positions for the Washington Army National Guard and the United States Army. Between 2006 and 2010, Forbes was appointed by Governor Gregoire to serve on two boards to assist with veteran issues and to develop programs to enhance the quality of life of veterans and their families: The Governor’s Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee (VAAC), and the Veterans Innovations Program (VIP). She also served as a one of the founding board members for the non-profit organization “Hire America’s Heroes.”

Elisia Fernandez Mutter

Therapeutic Riding Instructor

Elisia Fernandez Mutter has been involved with horses all her life – as horse owner, competitor, and over the last 7 years as an instructor. She is a recent graduate of South Puget Sound Community College and is currently attending Evergreen after a career in business management. In 2010, she completed certifications as a Therapeutic Riding Instructor and Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning to become the Volunteer Coordinator and Instructor for Rainier Therapeutic Riding. Rainier Therapeutic Riding is a 501c3 organization founded by Debbi Fisher. The program offers therapeutic horsemanship lessons to active duty and veteran service members with disabilities at no cost to the service member. The program uses the horse’s natural state of hyper-awareness and unique ability to mirror human emotions to help veterans gain confidence, re- balance, build core strength and reduce anxiety.

Suzanne Simons

Evergreen Faculty

Suzanne Simons has worked with veteran, active duty military personnel and dependent students through programs she has taught at Evergreen since 1996 in writing, journalism, Middle East studies, and religion and community studies. Her oldest son, Taylor, is in the Marines Early Recruitment Program and will go boot camp after graduating from Olympia High School next summer.