To recognize Vietnam veterans for their service and sacrifices – and connect them to the benefits they earned for their service – the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency (MVAA) is hosting a series of events across Michigan in 2020 and 2021.
The recognition series kicks off with a Vietnam Veterans Day Commemoration ceremonial luncheon in Lansing on March 29.
"I want to assure everyone in Michigan who has served, and their families, that this administration is committed to working year-round to ensure they have the support they earned," said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. “Every one of us is impacted by the dedication and bravery of our veterans, and through their service to our state, they have earned our unwavering dedication and support. I also want to recognize DMVA General Paul Rogers and MVAA Director Zaneta Adams for their leadership and commitment to helping veterans and their families access the benefits they have earned.”
Celebrated annually on March 29, National Vietnam War Veterans Day was established in 2017 to ensure the sacrifices of the 9 million U.S. service members who served during the Vietnam era are remembered for generations to come.
About 350 veterans and their family members or caregivers are expected to attend the 2020 Vietnam Veterans Day Commemoration in Lansing, a free event that includes a pinning ceremony and keynote by retired Command Sgt. Maj. Dave Dunckel, a Vietnam-era veteran.
Michigan is home to about 217,000 Vietnam veterans, roughly 36 percent of the state’s veteran population – the largest contingent of any service period, according to the latest available data from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
“Michigan residents today enjoy freedoms because of the sacrifices and dedication of our veterans,” said MVAA Director Zaneta Adams. “But we have a way to go in terms of ensuring our veterans are taken care of by the benefits they have earned for their service. We’re excited and eager to connect with more Vietnam veterans through these events to thank and honor them.”
Upcoming Vietnam veteran recognition ceremonies will be held later this year in Escanaba and Detroit and are being planned for next year in Grand Rapids, Traverse City and Saginaw.
Veterans and their families can learn more about the benefits and services they may have earned for their service by contacting MVAA at 1-800-MICH-VET or visiting michiganveterans.com and searching under “Benefits & Resources.”