Reminder: Kowall and Nofs honoring Vietnam era veterans at Battle Creek event

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LANSING, Mich. — Michigan Senate Majority Floor Leader Mike Kowall and Sen. Mike Nofs on Friday reminded interested parties of a formal Vietnam veteran lapel pinning ceremony on Friday, Oct. 27 in commemoration of the 50-year anniversary of the war.

Kowall, R-White Lake, and Nofs, R-Battle Creek, are hosting the “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Event to Thank and Honor Vietnam Veterans and Their Families” in Battle Creek in conjunction with the 110th Attack Wing, Battle Creek Air National Guard Base.

The ceremony will give long-overdue recognition to Vietnam War era veterans and their families. The lawmakers 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, will be held at 2 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 27, at the 110th Attack Wing, Battle Creek Air National Guard Base, 3367 W. Dickman Road, Battle Creek.

RSVP to Sherry Swann, U.S. Army veteran, at 269-274-8890 (email gordonrosberg@comcast.net) or to Kowall’s Director of District Affairs Lynn O’Brien at 517-373-0563 (email lobrien@senate.michigan.gov).

Kowall and Nofs 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 master of ceremonies at the event will be retired Army National Guard Col. Frank Walker. South Haven native, Vietnam veteran, and Medal of Honor recipient U.S. Army Spc. 5 James C. McCloughan and retired Army Brig. Gen. Robert Secrist will be the guest speakers, and McCloughan will perform the national anthem.

To begin the formal ceremony, American Legion Post 298, Patriot Guard Riders and the Blue Star Mothers will form a flag cordon line inside the hangar for a Vietnam veteran procession.

Additional event highlights:
• Cereal City Concert Band will perform a selection of patriotic music under the direction of Conductor Dr. Stephen White, and they will also end the ceremony with echo taps performed by Susan Owen and Derrick Anthony;
• The Hooligans Flight Team will perform a flyover in the Missing Man Formation;
• A variety of veterans service organizations will be on hand to provide Vietnam veterans and their families with current information on benefits;
• Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 313 will host a Vietnam memorabilia table; and
• Firekeepers Casino Hotel of Battle Creek has generously offered to donate sandwiches for the event.

Guests should be aware that all vehicles entering Battle Creek Air National Guard Base are subject to inspection. For security, no bags or purses will be authorized in the event area, and individuals may be subject to metal detector inspection. Handicapped parking will be limited, although a shuttle service will be provided from the on-base parking area to the event.

The lapel pinning ceremony is not an official military function of the 110th Attack Wing.

Kowall has held numerous events, in both Lansing and throughout the state. The ceremonies are held in a variety of locations, including VFW/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 www.vietnamwar50th.com.