A formal Vietnam veteran lapel pinning ceremony will be held in Barry County Saturday, June 10 in commemoration of the 50-year anniversary of the war. All interested residents and veterans are encouraged to join in paying tribute to the men and women who were too often forgotten when they returned home.
The event Saturday, June 10 at the Barry Expo, 1350 M-37, Hastings, is sponsored by State Senators, Mike Kowall, R-White Lake, and Mike Nofs, R-Battle Creek. The senators will present a Vietnam War Commemorative lapel pin to U.S. veterans who served on active duty at any time from Nov. 1, 1955 to May 15, 1975, regardless of location.
The lawmakers are hosting the welcome home Vietnam veterans event to thank and honor Vietnam veterans and their families, along with the Barry County Honor Guard, American Legion Post 484 Hickory Corners, American Legion Post 45 Hastings, American Legion Post 140 Middleville, Disabled American Veterans Chapter 7 Battle Creek, Military Order of the Purple Heart USA Chapter 110, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4461 Lake Odessa, and American Legion Riders Post 45.
RSVP to Barry County American Legion Commander Jim Gross at 616-328-1343 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Guest speaker will be Brigadier General Michael A. Stone, assistant adjutant general for installations for the Michigan Army National Guard and deputy director, Michigan Department of Military & Veterans Affairs.
“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.”
“I’m honored and privileged to be able to present these Vietnam veterans with these Commemorative Lapel Pins,” Nofs said. “It’s a small token of our gratitude and appreciation for their sacrifice. That sacrifice will not be forgotten.”
The commemoration was authorized by the U. S. Congress in 2012 to thank and honor Vietnam veterans and their families in hometown America in light of the 50th anniversary of the war. Kowall has held numerous events throughout the state, often partnering 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.
Gold Star Mothers or Gold Star Wives 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.
The event is made possible in part by the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration.
For more, visit www.vietnamwar50th.com.