Reminder: Kowall and Robertson honoring Vietnam era veterans at second Holly event

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan Senate Majority Floor Leader Mike Kowall and Sen. Dave Robertson on Wednesday reminded interested parties of a Vietnam veteran lapel-pinning ceremony this Friday, Dec. 16 in commemoration of the 50-year anniversary of the war.

Kowall, R-White Lake, and Robertson, R-Grand Blanc, are hosting the second “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Event to Thank and Honor Vietnam Veterans and Their Families” in Holly to give long-overdue recognition to Vietnam War era veterans and their families. They encourage all interested residents and veterans to join them to pay tribute to the men and women who were too often forgotten when they returned home. Staff for U.S. Congressman Mike Bishop (MI-08) will join Kowall and Robertson.

Kowall said the event, made possible in part by the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration (VWC), will be held at 1 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 16, at the Holly Area Veterans Resource Center (HAVRC) in the Karl Richter Community Center, 300 East St., in Holly. For more information, contact HAVRC Chairman Joe Mishler at 810-348-9960.

The lawmakers 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.

Speakers at the event will be Lt. Gary Huber, U.S. Army veteran, Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 175, Genesee County; Joe Cylkowski, U.S. Army veteran, Holly American Legion Post 149; and Ina Golden, U.S. Navy veteran, secretary — Holly Area Veterans Resource Center, American Legion Post 149. Two Gold Star Mothers will be honored and recognized; they each will receive a special “In Memory Of” commemorative pin.

In addition, the invocation will be given by the Rev. Dr. Jennifer L. Smith, state chaplain of Veterans of Foreign Wars, Department of Michigan, and Don Austin will pray for prisoners of war and those missing in action.

Finally, the American Legion 149 and VFW Post 5587, both of Holly, will post the colors; Mike Beauchamp will sing the national anthem; Sabrina Dudek will lead the Pledge of Allegiance; George Murray will play the bagpipes; and Bruce Freimark will perform the service medley.

Kowall has held numerous lapel-pinning ceremonies, 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.

Information regarding the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration can be found at