2017-03-12 / Insight

Vietnam War committee needs more citizen help to support events this year

BY JEFF HOGAN
810-452-2640 • jhogan@mihomepaper.com


The Veterans Day ceremony in downtown Lapeer honors the service and sacrifice of the men and women who serve in the U.S. Armed Forces. The Veterans Day ceremony in downtown Lapeer honors the service and sacrifice of the men and women who serve in the U.S. Armed Forces. LAPEER — All this year programs and activities are being planned in Lapeer County to commemorate and honor the service of Vietnam War veterans — more than 50 years since the war began for U.S. troops.

This year culminates a three-year initiative by the local Vietnam War

Commemorative Committee to honor our veterans. But it’s a big job and they can use more help to coordinate and pull off several major events scheduled for later this year.

For instance from July 6-10 “The Moving Wall,” a half-size replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, will pay a visit to Almont while on Oct. 21 a dinner for Vietnam veterans will be held at the American Legion hall in North Branch. The Commemorative Committeesponsored event may include a memorial that includes the names of


Lapeer Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Neda Payne sings during a Veterans Day ceremony. To her right is Vietnam War veteran Glenn Ream. Lapeer Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Neda Payne sings during a Veterans Day ceremony. To her right is Vietnam War veteran Glenn Ream. Michigan servicemen killed during the

Vietnam War. Twenty-one servicemen from Lapeer County were killed in the conflict.

“We’re definitely going to need some help, with fundraising and other activities including helping with sending out letters for sponsorships and mailings,” said committee secretary Linda Bonner.

The next meeting of the commemorative committee, open to the public where new members are always welcome, will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 21 in the

Lapeer County Courthouse Annex (Senior Center) in downtown Lapeer.

“We welcome anyone who’s interested in supporting our veterans,” said Bonner. “You don’t have to be a veterans, just someone that wants to make a difference and help our community honor Vietnam War veterans like they deserve.”

Linda Jarvis, a Lapeer County Commissioner and 50th Commemorative Committee member, is appreciative of County Press reporting and support to publicize this year’s commemorative events.

“Your help has been great to help get the word out,” said Jarvis. “If people are thinking of volunteering or helping us they can just come when they can. They don’t have to commit to the entire time.”

Jarvis became involved in the Vietnam commemorative effort to be a voice to communicate support and appreciation of the service and sacrifice by veterans and their families.

“I want them to know they were appreciated, that they didn’t go there for nought,” said Jarvis. “We owe so much to them and their families. I just have the utmost respect for every veteran.”

The County Press published an editorial Sunday, Feb. 19 titled “You can help honor our Vietnam veterans” to help drum up more interest and support of the commemorative committee’s efforts to plan and staff events this year.

The people of Lapeer County have always been generous to support programs and initiatives to benefit people and organizations that enhance quality of life of citizens here.

The 50th Anniversary Commemorative Committee, however, can use a helping hand from area residents to supplement its core group of officers and members.

For committee chairman Glenn Ream, a Vietnam veteran, the three-year commemorative effort has been personal. “For me, I’ve hung on against all the odds. I’m not going to let it go until it’s done. That’s how I served in Vietnam and ever since I’ve been back,” said Ream. “But we can use more help. There’s not that many of us and there’s a lot of work to do.”

People interested to know more or offer their assistance are urged to call Bonner at 810-724-8541 or Ream at 810-688-2954.

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