Reminder: Kowall and Bieda honoring Vietnam era veterans at Fraser event

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan Senate Majority Floor Leader Mike Kowall and Sen. Steve Bieda on Wednesday reminded interested parties of a Vietnam veteran lapel pinning ceremony next Monday, March 20 in commemoration of the 50-year anniversary of the war.

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

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 Monday, March 20, at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6691, 17075 Anita Ave., in Fraser.

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.

RSVP to Post Commander Larry Rosseel at or Lynn O’Brien in Kowall’s office at 517-373-0563.

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

Any Gold Star Mothers 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.

Guest speakers will include U.S. Navy veteran and Fraser Mayor Joe Nichols and Teri Johnson, president of the Michigan department of Gold Star Mothers. Old Settlers Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4659 Color Guard of Shelby Township will present the colors. Post 6691 Auxiliary President Debbie Scheetz stated that the post and the post auxiliary will serve lunch.

Kowall has held numerous lapel pinning ceremonies, in both 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.

Information regarding the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration can be found at