Photo Advisory: Kowall and Bieda award lapel pins to Vietnam veterans

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan Senate Majority Floor Leader Mike Kowall and Sen. Steve Bieda on Monday participated in a Vietnam veteran lapel pinning ceremony in Fraser at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6691 in commemoration of the 50-year anniversary of the war.

Kowall, R-White Lake, and Bieda, D-Warren, hosted the “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Event to Thank and Honor Vietnam Veterans and Their Families” to give long-overdue recognition to Vietnam War era veterans, Gold Star Mothers and their families. They were joined by residents and veterans in paying tribute to the men and women who were too often forgotten when they returned home.

Gold Star Mothers Elsie Mannerow and Mary Jean Linville, whose sons were killed in action in Vietnam, were the guests of honor. Each received an “In Memory Of” pin exclusively presented to Gold Star Mothers. Teri Johnson, president of the Michigan department of Gold Star Mothers, was a guest speaker at the ceremony. Johnson’s son, Army Sgt. Joe Johnson, was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2010.

Any Gold Star Mothers or Gold Star Wives of the Vietnam era who would like to receive an “In Memory Of” pin at a future lapel pinning ceremony should contact Lynn O’Brien in advance of the ceremony at 517-373-0563.

Monday’s event was made possible in part by the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration. More information regarding the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration can be found at

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