Save the Date: Kowall and Pavlov announce Sandusky event honoring Vietnam era veterans

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LANSING, Mich. — Michigan Senate Majority Floor Leader Mike Kowall and Sen. Phil Pavlov on Thursday announced they are sponsoring a formal Vietnam veteran lapel pinning ceremony on Saturday, May 27 in commemoration of the 50-year anniversary of the war.

The “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Event to Thank and Honor Vietnam Veterans and Their Families” ceremony in Sandusky will be part of the “Moving Wall Vietnam Veterans Memorial” event hosted by the students of Sandusky Community Schools over Memorial Day weekend under the direction of Sandusky High School teacher George Lasecki.

Kowall, R-White Lake, and Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township, are hosting the lapel pinning to 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 lapel pinning, made possible in part by the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 27, on the front lawn of the Sanilac County Courthouse, 60 W. Sanilac Road, in Sandusky. RSVP to the Sanilac County Department of Veterans Affairs at 810-648-0212 or by email at director@sanilaccountyva.org or clerk@sanilaccountyva.org.

Kowall and Pavlov 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 Moving Wall is a half-size replica of the Washington D.C. Vietnam Veterans Memorial. It has been touring the country from April to November since 1984. Sandusky students are bringing the Moving Wall to Sanilac County to honor and respect those who made the ultimate sacrifice through remembrance and education. Find out more about the students’ efforts at
Facebook.com/TheMovingWallSanduskyMichigan2017.

“The Moving Wall accompanied with the pinning ceremony helps add closure to the trauma of the Vietnam War,” Kowall said.

The United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration was authorized by Congress and established under the secretary of defense, and then formally 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 for 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 ceremony is a way to recognize veterans of the Vietnam War era and their families for their service and sacrifice on behalf of a grateful nation and the Michigan Legislature.”

Pavlov agreed.

“Vietnam veterans and their families deserve the utmost respect and honor,” Pavlov said. “It is a great privilege to present them with these Commemorative Lapel Pins as a token of our gratefulness for their sacrifice to our nation.”

Kowall has held numerous events, 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.

“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.

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