Media Reminder: Kowall sponsoring Capitol event honoring Vietnam era veterans

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan Senate Majority Floor Leader Mike Kowall reminded residents Thursday that he is sponsoring an event honoring veterans of the Vietnam War era on the Capitol lawn on Thursday, Oct. 8. Kowall encouraged his constituents and all interested Michiganders to attend.

“On behalf of the great state of Michigan, we are doing what should have been done decades ago: thanking and honoring our Vietnam veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice,” said Kowall, R-White Lake. “May it be a public ‘thank you’ and ‘welcome home’ for many who have waited too long to hear it.”

Kowall said the “Michigan Says Thanks” event will run from noon to 3 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 8, on the lawn of the Michigan Capitol in Lansing. Twenty-five historical stations will be displayed on the north and south lawns for event attendees to visit.

The major sponsors of the event are Vietnam Veterans of America Detroit Chapter 9, Michigan Association of Broadcasters, Domino’s Pizza, and Breitung Township Traveling Memorial.

Michigan Says Thanks will highlight the service of the armed forces during the Vietnam War and the contributions of Vietnam War era families, and it will pay tribute to the contributions made on the home front by the people of the United States during the war.

A lapel-pinning ceremony will be held throughout the event. Volunteers from the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration will fasten lapel pins on veterans who served during the Vietnam War era, between Nov. 1, 1955 and May 15, 1975, regardless of location.

“The symbolism attached to the Vietnam veteran lapel pins is significant,” Kowall said. “The Commemoration honors all Vietnam veterans, whether they served in-country, in-theater, or were stationed elsewhere during the Vietnam War period. All were called to serve and the overwhelming majority of these veterans served honorably and admirably.”

Kowall will host a formal ceremony presentation from 12:30 to 1 p.m. to thank and honor Vietnam veterans. The presentation will include:
•    Color guard and bagpipe procession;
•    National Anthem sung by Joanna Lauren;
•    Invocation by Larry Vollink, Veterans Affairs chaplain, Ann Arbor;
•    Guest Speaker: retired U.S. Army Capt. Jim Dunn, deputy director of the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency;
•    Vocal performance by Kelly Trudell;
•    Recognition of spouses of Vietnam veterans;
•    Wreath presentation by Daughters of the American Revolution;
•    Recognition of legislators who are veterans; and
•    Closing prayer honoring those we’ve lost since their return from Vietnam.

Visit www.MichiganSaysThanks.com for more information and to RSVP for the event.

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