Save the Date: Kowall and Robertson announce second Holly event honoring Vietnam era veterans

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan Senate Majority Floor Leader Mike Kowall and Sen. Dave Robertson on Tuesday announced they are sponsoring a Vietnam veteran lapel-pinning ceremony on Friday, Dec. 16 in commemoration of the 50-year anniversary of the war.

Kowall, R-White Lake, and Robertson, R-Grand Blanc, are hosting the second “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Event to Thank and Honor Vietnam Veterans and Their Families” in Holly to give long-overdue recognition to Vietnam War era veterans and their families. They encourage all interested residents and veterans to join them to pay tribute to the men and women who were too often forgotten when they returned home. U.S. Congressman Mike Bishop (MI-08) will join Kowall and Robertson.

Kowall said the event, made possible in part by the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration (VWC), will be held at 1 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 16, at the Holly Area Veterans Resource Center (HAVRC) in the Karl Richter Community Center, 300 East St., in Holly. For more information, contact HAVRC Chairman Joe Mishler at 810-348-9960.

The lawmakers will provide a Vietnam War Commemorative Lapel Pin to U.S. veterans who served on active duty at any time from Nov. 1, 1955 – May 15, 1975, regardless of location. The symbolism attached to the lapel pin 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,” he said. “All were called to serve and the overwhelming majority of these veterans served honorably and admirably.”

The Commemoration was authorized by Congress and established under the secretary of defense and launched in 2012. It was designed to thank and honor Vietnam veterans and their families in hometown America, in light of the 50th anniversary of the war. Recognition is given to these heroes when commemorative partners, such as Kowall, hold events that thank and honor the veterans and their families.

Speakers at the event will be Lt. Gary Huber, U.S. Army veteran, Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 175, Genesee County; Joe Cylkowski, U.S. Army veteran, Holly American Legion Post 149; and Ina Golden, U.S. Navy veteran, secretary — Holly Area Veterans Resource Center, American Legion Post 149.

The invocation will be given by the Rev. Dr. Jennifer L. Smith, state chaplain of Veterans of Foreign Wars, Department of Michigan. The American Legion 149 and VFW Post 5587, both of Holly, will post the colors.

“Michigan’s Vietnam veterans, whether drafted or enlisted, served our country with honor. Tragically, too many returned home with little thanks for their service and not much help transitioning to civilian life,” Kowall said. “This lapel-pinning ceremony is a way to thank and honor veterans of the Vietnam War era and their families for their service and sacrifice on behalf of a grateful nation and the Michigan Legislature.”

Robertson agreed.

“We as Americans are forever indebted to those who answered our nation’s call during the Vietnam War,” Robertson said. “Freedom isn’t free, and our veterans know that better than anyone. For generations, military personnel and their families have made unimaginable sacrifices on a daily basis. Our objectives are to recognize those sacrifices, honor their service and show these individuals the respect they’ve earned.”

Kowall has held numerous lapel-pinning ceremonies, both in Lansing and throughout the state. The ceremonies are held in a variety of locations, including Veterans of Foreign Wars/American Legion posts, veteran memorial parks and banquet halls. Kowall often partners with the senator of the district where the event is being held.

Bishop hosted a similar event for Vietnam War veterans living in his congressional district in March with more than 160 veterans in attendance from Oakland, Livingston and Ingham counties.

“Our Vietnam War veterans’ service during our nation’s longest war was selfless and courageous,” Bishop said. “Years later, our nation still owes them a debt of gratitude that they were wrongfully denied when they returned home. We must also do our part to reach out to every single one of our local veterans with the proper care and assistance they deserve. We have a duty to serve and honor our American heroes — not just today, but every day.”

Information regarding the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration can be found at www.vietnamwar50th.com.

Oakland Press: New technology may make this the most successful hunting season ever

By Sen. Mike Kowall
15th Senate District

Hunting is a time-honored tradition for hundreds of thousands of Michigan families. Sportsmen and women all over the state enjoy our bountiful natural resources and rich hunting tradition.

According to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR), more than 600,000 hunters harvested about 335,000 deer last year and contributed more than $2 billion to Michigan’s economy. In fact, Michigan’s hunting participation rate — the percentage of residents who have a hunting license — ranks third in the nation.

With the start of deer firearm season, I thought it would be helpful to pass along some hunting information and urge all outdoor enthusiasts to hunt safely.

The regular firearm season runs from Nov. 15-30. It is the most popular deer hunting season, but it is not the only one. The first part of archery deer season ran from Oct. 1 to Nov. 14, and the season will resume from Dec. 1 to Jan. 1; disabled veterans and hunters with disabilities hunted Oct. 13-16; muzzle loading deer season runs Dec. 2-18 in southern Michigan; and late antlerless deer firearm season runs from Dec. 19 to Jan. 1.

This information and more is included in the 2016 Michigan Hunting and Trapping Digest, a summary of information regarding Michigan hunting and trapping rules and regulations. The booklet is available on my website at www.SenatorMikeKowall.com/publications.

Hunting guides, including all current Michigan rules and regulations, can be found at www.michigan.gov/hunting. On the site, you can also learn about all other hunting seasons and how to get a license.

A DNR online mapping tool makes it easier than ever to plan your next hunting trip. The interactive Mi-HUNT application (not a downloadable app) is easily accessible through the web browser on smartphones, tablets or computers.

The tool enables visitors to create and print customized routes and locate seven million acres of state and federal public lands open to hunting and printable hunting maps highlighting the vegetation of most interest to hunters.

The program also features information on topography and vegetation as well as nearby recreational facilities. To check it out, go to www.mi.gov/mihunt.

Residents can buy hunting licenses from a local licensing agent or online 24 hours a day at www.mdnr-elicense.com. If you want to buy your licenses locally, click on “License Agent Locations” to find licensing agents in each county.

Legislation recently passed by the Senate could enhance our hunting traditions with a new use of technology.

I voted yes on Senate Bills 1073-1075, which would require the DNR to develop and offer smartphone applications that show an electronic copy of base hunting, waterfowl and all-species fishing licenses for customers by March 1, 2018. Another provision would require that the app include other services such as information on points of public access, descriptions of game species, boundary maps and more.

With the app in hand, hunters and anglers wouldn’t have to worry about lost licenses and would enjoy increased convenience and quick access to helpful outdoor information. The bills have been referred to the House Committee on Tourism and Outdoor Recreation.

I wish everyone a happy, safe and successful hunting season.

This column first appeared in the Oakland Press. Senator Mike Kowall, R-White Lake, is the Michigan Senate majority floor leader. He serves the residents of the 15th Senate District, representing western Oakland County.

Spinal Column: New technology may make this the most successful hunting season ever

Sen. Mike Kowall

Sen. Mike Kowall

By Sen. Mike Kowall
15th Senate District

Hunting is a time-honored tradition for hundreds of thousands of Michigan families. Sportsmen and women all over the state enjoy our bountiful natural resources and rich hunting tradition.

According to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR), more than 600,000 hunters harvested about 335,000 deer last year and contributed more than $2 billion to Michigan’s economy. In fact, Michigan’s hunting participation rate — the percentage of residents who have a hunting license — ranks third in the nation.

With the start of deer firearm season, I thought it would be helpful to pass along some hunting information and urge all outdoor enthusiasts to hunt safely.

The regular firearm season runs from Nov. 15-30. It is the most popular deer hunting season, but it is not the only one. The first part of archery deer season ran from Oct. 1 to Nov. 14, and the season will resume from Dec. 1 to Jan. 1; disabled veterans and hunters with disabilities hunted Oct. 13-16; muzzle loading deer season runs Dec. 2-18 in southern Michigan; and late antlerless deer firearm season runs from Dec. 19 to Jan. 1.

This information and more is included in the 2016 Michigan Hunting and Trapping Digest, a summary of information regarding Michigan hunting and trapping rules and regulations. The booklet is available on my website at www.SenatorMikeKowall.com/publications.

Hunting guides, including all current Michigan rules and regulations, can be found at www.michigan.gov/hunting. On the site, you can also learn about all other hunting seasons and how to get a license.

A DNR online mapping tool makes it easier than ever to plan your next hunting trip. The interactive Mi-HUNT application (not a downloadable app) is easily accessible through the web browser on smartphones, tablets or computers.

The tool enables visitors to create and print customized routes and locate seven million acres of state and federal public lands open to hunting and printable hunting maps highlighting the vegetation of most interest to hunters.

The program also features information on topography and vegetation as well as nearby recreational facilities. To check it out, go to www.mi.gov/mihunt.

Residents can buy hunting licenses from a local licensing agent or online 24 hours a day at www.mdnr-elicense.com. If you want to buy your licenses locally, click on “License Agent Locations” to find licensing agents in each county.

Legislation recently passed by the Senate could enhance our hunting traditions with a new use of technology.

I voted yes on Senate Bills 1073-1075, which would require the DNR to develop and offer smartphone applications that show an electronic copy of base hunting, waterfowl and all-species fishing licenses for customers by March 1, 2018. Another provision would require that the app include other services such as information on points of public access, descriptions of game species, boundary maps and more.

With the app in hand, hunters and anglers wouldn’t have to worry about lost licenses and would enjoy increased convenience and quick access to helpful outdoor information. The bills have been referred to the House Committee on Tourism and Outdoor Recreation.

I wish everyone a happy, safe and successful hunting season.

This column first appeared in the Spinal Column newsweekly. Senator Mike Kowall, R-White Lake, is the Michigan Senate majority floor leader. He serves the residents of the 15th Senate District, representing western Oakland County.

Photo Advisory: Kowall, colleagues present lapel pins to Vietnam veterans

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan Senate Majority Floor Leader Mike Kowall, R-White Lake; Sen. Dave Robertson, R-Grand Blanc; and Sen. Morris Hood, D-Detroit, on Wednesday welcomed to Kowall’s Capitol office Vietnam veterans Eugene Burke, a constituent of Robertson’s, and Fred Sawyer, a constituent of Hood’s. The senators presented a Vietnam veteran lapel pin to the Army veterans.

The symbolism attached to the Vietnam veteran lapel pins is significant. The pins honor all Vietnam veterans, whether they served in-country, in-theater, or were stationed elsewhere during the Vietnam War period.

Note: For a print-quality version of this photo and other Kowall photos, click the image or click Photowire under the Media Center tab, above.

Pictured, from left: Kowall; John Campbell; Michigan National Guard Adjutant General and Director of Military and Veterans Affairs Major General Gregory Vadnais; Leanne Vadnais; Ryan Sawyer; Marilyn Sawyer; Fred Sawyer; Sharon McAlister; Jerry Barnuzzini; Catherine Burke; Robertson; Eugene Burke; and Hood.

Kowall to honor Native American veterans in Lansing

Sen. Mike Kowall

Sen. Mike Kowall

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan Senate Majority Floor Leader Mike Kowall on Wednesday announced that on Saturday, Nov. 5 he will participate in a tribute to Native American veterans and a lapel-pinning ceremony at a Lansing event.

Kowall said the city of Lansing and the Native American Institute at Michigan State University are hosting the Courage Veterans Day Tribute to give recognition to Native American veterans and their families. He encourages all interested residents and veterans to join him to pay tribute to the men and women who have courageously served their nation.

Kowall said the event will be held at on Saturday, Nov. 5, at Pattengill Middle School, 626 Marshall St. in Lansing. A fundraiser breakfast will served from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m., and the ceremony will be held at 10:30 a.m. in the auditorium.

The senator will provide a Vietnam War Commemorative Lapel Pin to U.S. veterans who served on active duty at any time from Nov. 1, 1955 – May 15, 1975, regardless of location. Retired U.S. Marine Corps officer Robert Weiss will be a ceremonial presenter.

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero will participate and all Blue Star and Gold Star families and veterans will be recognized.

The symbolism attached to the lapel pin 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,” he said. “All were called to serve and the overwhelming majority of these veterans served honorably and admirably.”

Retired U.S. Army officer and Chickasaw Nation Lt. Gov. Jefferson Keel will be the keynote speaker for the event. The master of ceremonies will be Ken Houston of WILX News 10 in Lansing.

Kowall said the tribute will include an American Indian Flag Ceremony, traditional drumming, a rifle salute, and the performance of taps and Amazing Grace.

The United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration was authorized by Congress and established under the secretary of defense and launched in 2012. It was designed to thank and honor Vietnam veterans and their families in hometown America, in light of the 50th anniversary of the war. Recognition is given to these heroes when commemorative partners, such as Kowall, hold events that thank and honor the veterans and their families.

“Michigan’s Vietnam veterans, whether drafted or enlisted, served our country with honor. Tragically, too many returned home with little thanks for their service and not much help transitioning to civilian life,” Kowall said. “This tribute is a way to thank and honor veterans of the Vietnam War era and their families for their service and sacrifice on behalf of a grateful nation and the Michigan Legislature.”

Kowall has held numerous lapel-pinning ceremonies, both in Lansing and throughout the state. The ceremonies are held in a variety of locations, including Veterans of Foreign Wars/American Legion posts, veteran memorial parks and banquet halls.

“It is always a moving time for me when I am able to present the lapel pins and personally thank each veteran for their service,” Kowall said.

Photo Advisory: Kowall presents tribute to owner of Bakers of Milford Restaurant & Banquet Hall

LANSING, Mich. — State Senate Majority Floor Leader Mike Kowall, R-White Lake (second from left) and other elected officials presented a tribute on Saturday for 20 Years of business serving Oakland County to Chris Baker (holding the tribute), owner of Bakers of Milford Restaurant & Banquet Hall at the company’s annual Halloween Bash event.

Pictured, from left, are: State Rep. Jim Runestad, R-White Lake; Kowall; Oakland County Road Commission Chairman Ron Fowkes; Baker; Tracy Borders, Walled Lake Consolidated School District; and Oakland County Commissioner Philip J. Weipert.

Note: Click the image or select the Photowire link under the Media Center tab above for more Kowall photos.