I am writing to congratulate a young local man for his recent receipt of the Army Bronze Star for exceptional and meritorious service following his third Middle East deployment. The Bronze Star is among the very highest awards given to recognize superior service during wartime. Staff Sgt. Jeffrey A. Lillard grew up in Lake Stevens and along with his beautiful wife and three darling children (yes, I am Jeff’s father-in-law!) is stationed at Fort Lewis. Many people know Jeff for his keen intellect, remarkable sporting and athletic talents along with his warmth and many, many loyal friendships in the greater Lake Stevens area.
After school, Jeff worked in the plumbing and electrical trades and made a decision that he could best serve his country by volunteering for military service. Jeff has advanced rapidly to the rank of staff sergeant. During Jeff’s first Afghan deployment he was among the leaders of a highly dedicated group of soldiers who engaged in some of the heaviest fighting of the entire war in which stunning victories over al-Qaida forces were won by him and his fellow American troops under the most horrendous of circumstances. During his most recent deployment it was announced that Jeff had been awarded the Bronze Star. While there are many viewpoints on the war itself I believe that we can all agree that it is a genuine point of pride for the entire community when one of our own young men is recognized for his true bravery, selflessness, and excellence while in our service. I congratulate Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Lillard and wish him continued God’s spe