LANSING, Mich. — Michigan Senate Majority Floor Leader Mike Kowall on Wednesday announced that he is sponsoring a formal Vietnam veteran lapel pinning ceremony on Wednesday, July 25 in commemoration of the 50-year anniversary of the war.
Kowall, R-White Lake, is hosting the “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Event to Thank and Honor Vietnam Veterans and Their Families” in Plymouth to give long-overdue recognition to Vietnam War era veterans and their families. He encourages all interested residents and veterans to join him 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 from 5 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, July 25 at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6695, 1426 S. Mill St., Plymouth.
The ceremony will be held in conjunction with the regularly scheduled car show at the post. Kowall said no RSVP is required and to contact Vietnam veteran and VFW Post 6695 Commander Richard Adis at 734-737-9077 with any questions.
The senator 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 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.”
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.