The state House today approved a plan introduced by Rep. Bob Bezotte to create the Michigan Vietnam Veteran Recognition Certificate.
“This is a well-deserved acknowledgment for veterans of the Vietnam War, along with their families,” said Bezotte, of Marion Township.
Bezotte served in the Vietnam War as a member of the U.S. Army. The Vietnam War was a long and bloody conflict. According to official numbers, over 400,000 Michigan servicemen and women served in the Vietnam War. A total of 2,651 of those brave men and women gave their lives in the conflict. In honor of those who served in the Vietnam War, the state of Michigan erected a Vietnam Veterans Monument in 2001.
“Several states have a similar certificate available for Vietnam veterans, but Michigan does not,” Bezotte said. “My plan aims to change that.”
The certificate may be awarded to citizens of this state or anyone who was a citizen of this state while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces who have been honorably discharged and served during the Vietnam War era. The bill provides for a special designation for those veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange during their service. The certificate may be awarded to the designated representative of a deceased veteran.
“I’d especially like to thank former Michigan Representative Dr. Hank Vaupel, a Vietnam War veteran and former Army Captain, and former Marine David Mester for their preliminary work on this matter,” Bezotte said.
House Bill 4065 now heads to the Senate for further consideration.
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