Sen. John Proos honors area Vietnam era veterans

LANSING, Mich.Sen. John Proos welcomed Senate Majority Floor Leader Mike Kowall to Bridgman on Friday to help thank and honor Vietnam veterans and their families.

“We live in the land of liberty today because of the tremendous sacrifice of America’s veterans, and our Vietnam veterans deserve our respect and appreciation for serving our country in the defense of freedom,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “The vast majority of our Vietnam veterans served our country with honor, yet they were often forgotten when they returned home.

“In commemoration of the 50-year anniversary of the Vietnam War, I was proud to help host this moving lapel pinning ceremony to give long-overdue recognition to our Vietnam veterans and their families on behalf of a grateful nation.”

The lawmakers provided a Vietnam War Commemorative Lapel Pin to more than 250 veterans from Southwest Michigan who served on active duty at any time during the Vietnam War era, regardless of location.

The ceremony is made possible by the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration and was held at the Bridgman American Legion Post 331.

Michigan American Legion State Commander Larry Money; Rep. Kim LaSata, R-Bainbridge Township; and Rep. Dave Pagel, R-Berrien Springs, also attended the ceremony. The Sons of the American Legion Bridgman Post 331 posted the colors along with bagpiper Jodie Godush (who also sang the national anthem). At the end of the event, Godush played Amazing Grace and Larry Burwell performed Taps.

Kowall, R-White Lake, has held numerous lapel-pinning ceremonies in Lansing and throughout the state at a variety of locations, including Veterans of Foreign Wars/American Legion posts, veteran memorial parks and banquet halls.

“It is always a special privilege for me to present lapel pins to the veterans who served our nation with honor in Vietnam and to recognize and thank their families,” Kowall said.

Information regarding the commemoration can be found at


Editor’s note: The above photos are available by clicking on the images or by visiting