Kowall announces Albion event honoring Vietnam era veterans

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LANSING, Mich. — Michigan Senate Majority Floor Leader Mike Kowall on Friday announced that a Vietnam veteran lapel-pinning ceremony will be held on Saturday, Aug. 6 in commemoration of the 50-year anniversary of the war.

The ceremony will be part of the Albion American Legion Post 55 Annual Veterans Picnic for all veterans and their families. The lapel-pinning will pay tribute to the men and women who were too often forgotten when they returned home.

Kowall, R-White Lake, encourages all interested residents and veterans to attend. He said that the event, made possible in part by the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration (VWC), will begin at noon on Saturday, Aug. 6, at Albion American Legion Post 55, 1230 Edwards St, in Albion. The lapel-pinning will begin at 2 p.m.

Those planning to attend should RSVP to the American Legion at 517-629-9300.

District Director Lynn O’Brien will represent Kowall at the ceremony. O’Brien will be assisted by the Daughters of the American Revolution of Michigan in providing a Vietnam War Commemorative Lapel Pin to any U.S. veteran who served on active duty at any time from Nov. 1, 1955 – May 15, 1975, regardless of location. The DAR of Michigan are also partners of the VWC.

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,” Kowall 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 ceremonies 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 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.”

Kowall said that Joanna Lauren will sing the National Anthem to open the ceremony. Lauren performed the National Anthem at the “Michigan Says Thanks” event last October at the Capitol.

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

Kowall has held numerous lapel-pinning events, 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.