A host of veteran-focused events in Michigan – from a Vietnam War Traveling Wall in Battle Creek to a Veteran Entrepreneurship Expo in Ann Arbor – will take place March 29 on National Vietnam War Veterans Day.
The special day was established by the president 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. This national salute is part of a 13-year commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War that began in 2012.
Michigan is home to about 217,000 surviving Vietnam veterans, representing 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.
The Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency, the state’s central coordinating agency for veterans, along with County Veteran Service offices and Veteran Service Organizations, are working together to recognize all Vietnam veterans for their service and connect them with the benefits they earned. The Michigan Veterans Resource Service Center, at 1-800-MICH-VET, is available 24/7 to help veterans connect with benefits and with other issues facing veterans and their families.
Here is a sampling of events scheduled for Friday:
Veteran Entrepreneurship & Employment Expo, 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Washtenaw Community College, Morris Lawrence Building 101-121, Ann Arbor Township. The event, free and open to all, is put on by the Region 9 Veterans Community Action Team (VCAT).
Vietnam Veterans Day Flag Raising, 9-9:45 a.m., Branch County Courthouse, 31 Division St., Coldwater. The event will include a short program and presentation of lapel pins to Vietnam veterans
Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day event, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 154, 18025 15 Mile Road, Clinton Township. Food will be provided for members and friends.
Vietnam Commemorative Ceremony, including wreath laying and presentation of lapel pins to recognize and honor Vietnam veterans and their families, 11 a.m., Fort Custer National Cemetery, 15501 Dickman Road, Augusta. For more information call 269-731-4164.
National Vietnam War Veterans Day with the Michigan Vietnam Traveling Wall, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Battle Creek VA Medical Center, 5500 Armstrong Road, Battle Creek. The theme: Thank a Vietnam veteran for their service to our nation!
Vietnam Era Veterans Commemoration Exhibit, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., at several locations in Ann Arbor, Flint and the Jackson area. The events will feature table displays about the history of the Vietnam War and Vietnam Veteran Commemorative Lapel Pins will be available for all Vietnam-era veterans who have not received one. The Commemoration honors all U.S. veterans who served on active duty from Nov. 1, 1955, to May 15, 1975, regardless of location. The events, free and open to the public, will take place at:
VA Ann Arbor Medical Center, main lobby, 2215 Fuller Road, Ann Arbor.
VA Flint Community Based Outpatient Clinic, main lobby, 2360 S. Linden Road, Flint.
VA Jackson Community Based Outpatient Clinic, main lobby, 4328 Page Ave., Michigan Center.