Reminder: Lawmakers honoring Vietnam era veterans at Grand Rapids event

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan Senate Majority Floor Leader Mike Kowall, R-White Lake; Sen. Dave Hildenbrand, R-Lowell; and Sen. Pete MacGregor, R-Rockford on Saturday reminded interested parties of a Vietnam veteran lapel pinning ceremony next Saturday, March 4 in commemoration of the 50-year anniversary of the war.

The legislators are hosting the “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Event to Thank and Honor Vietnam Veterans and Their Families” in Grand Rapids to give long-overdue recognition to Vietnam War era veterans and their families. They encourage all interested residents and veterans to join them in paying tribute to the men and women who were too often forgotten when they returned home.

Kowall said the event is made possible in part by the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration and hosted by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3946 and American Legion posts 2, 258 and 356. It will be held at noon on Saturday, March 4, at the American Legion Boat and Canoe Club 401 N. Park St. NE, in Grand Rapids. American Legion Post 258 Color Guard will present the colors.

Those who are interested in attending should RSVP to American Legion Post 356 Commander Fred Chambers at 616-443-7630 or skysoldger@aol.com.

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.

Hot dogs and hamburgers will be prepared, available for purchase and served by the Sons of the American Legion (SAL) Post 258. Singer-songwriter Kelly Trudell will sing the national anthem, the “Armed Forces Medley” and “The Sound of Hope.” Trudell has been awarded the President’s Lifetime Volunteer Service Award for her work with veterans, soldiers and their families.

Kowall has held numerous lapel pinning ceremonies, in both 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 www.vietnamwar50th.com.

Sen. MacGregor applauds business expansion in Kent County

Sen. Peter MacGregor

Sen. Peter MacGregor

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Peter MacGregor today applauded Poultry Management Systems for the company’s decision to expand its operations in Vergennes Township.

The firm specializes in the manufacture of control systems and software used in the poultry industry, serving customers around the world. The company plans to invest more than $2 million in a new facility in the township, which will help create 27 jobs.

“This is more great news for Kent County,” said MacGregor, R-Rockford. “That west Michigan was chosen over several other states not only speaks to the strength of our economy, but also to the hardworking people who call our part of the state home.”

According to the Michigan Economic Development Corp., Poultry Management Systems is experiencing increased growth as poultry farms transition to raising cage-free chickens, requiring the expansion. The company chose Michigan over competing sites in North Carolina, Georgia and Iowa.

As a result of its decision, the company has been awarded a $175,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant, and Vergennes Township has been offered a property tax abatement.

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Save the Date: Lawmakers announce Grand Rapids event honoring Vietnam era veterans

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan Senate Majority Floor Leader Mike Kowall, Sen. Dave Hildenbrand and Sen. Pete MacGregor on Thursday announced they are sponsoring a formal Vietnam veteran lapel pinning ceremony on Saturday, March 4 in commemoration of the 50-year anniversary of the war.

The legislators are hosting the “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Event to Thank and Honor Vietnam Veterans and Their Families” in Grand Rapids to give long-overdue recognition to Vietnam War era veterans and their families. They encourage all interested residents and veterans to join them in paying tribute to the men and women who were too often forgotten when they returned home.

Kowall said the event is made possible in part by the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration and hosted by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3946 and American Legion posts 2, 258 and 356. It will be held at noon on Saturday, March 4, at the American Legion Boat and Canoe Club, 401 N. Park St. NE, in Grand Rapids.

Those who are interested in attending should RSVP to American Legion Post 356 Commander Fred Chambers at 616-443-7630 or skysoldger@aol.com.

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. The symbolism attached to the lapel pin is significant.

“The Commemoration honors all Vietnam veterans, whether they served in-country, in-theater, or were stationed elsewhere during the Vietnam War period,” said Kowall, R-White Lake. “All were called to serve and the overwhelming majority of these veterans served honorably and admirably.”

The Commemoration was authorized by Congress and established under the secretary of defense, and then formally launched in 2012. It was designed to thank and honor Vietnam veterans and their families in hometown America, in light of the 50th anniversary of the war. Recognition is given to these heroes when commemorative partners, such as Kowall, hold events that thank and honor the veterans and their families.

“Michigan’s Vietnam veterans, whether drafted or enlisted, served our country with honor. Tragically, too many returned home with little thanks for their service and not much help transitioning to civilian life,” Kowall said. “This ceremony is a way to recognize veterans of the Vietnam War era and their families for their service and sacrifice on behalf of a grateful nation and the Michigan Legislature.”

Hildenbrand agreed.

“Those who serve in our military make unimaginable sacrifices on a daily basis,” said Hildenbrand, R-Lowell. “Many Vietnam veterans faced criticism from their fellow Americans when they returned home and never received the thanks they deserved. Our goal is to show them that they were not forgotten and that we appreciate their service to our country.”

MacGregor said he is looking forward to the event.

“Michiganders care deeply and have the utmost respect for our military veterans,” said MacGregor, R-Rockford. “Unfortunately, those sentiments were not always communicated during the Vietnam era. It is fitting then, that during this 50th anniversary of that conflict, we make the time to publicly thank and commemorate the service and selfless sacrifices of those brave veterans who served during that time.”

Kowall has held numerous events, 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.

“It is always a moving time for me when I am able to present the lapel pins and personally thank each veteran for their service,” Kowall said.

Information regarding the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration can be found at www.vietnamwar50th.com.

Lawmakers, business leaders discuss brownfield redevelopment legislation

What: A press conference introducing a legislative package to create a new category in the Brownfield TIF Act for large-scale, transformational projects that will be known as transformational brownfield plans.

 

Who: Sen. Ken Horn, R-Frankenmuth, 32nd District

Sen. Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba, 38th District

Sen. Peter MacGregor, R-Rockford, 28th District

Sen. Steven Bieda, D-Warren, 9th District

Members of the MI Thrive Coalition including:

JoAnn Crary, Saginaw Future

Andy Johnston, Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce

Kent Wood, Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance

 

When: Tuesday, Feb. 7 at 2:45 p.m.

 

Where: Michigan State Capitol

Rooms 402/403

Lansing, MI 48933

 

Brief: The state of Michigan has a substantial amount of sites, known as brownfield properties, scattered throughout the state that due to previous industries, are costly to clean up and redevelop. These sites simply sit empty or vacant.

From Monroe to Marquette, communities are asking for tools that will enable them to clean up brownfield sites and replace them with transformational developments that will bring jobs and growth. These developments have the ability to completely transform the communities around them.

For more information, contact Horn’s office at 517-373-1760 or SenKHorn@Senate.Michigan.gov.

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