A local lawmaker’s bill was passed by the state House on Thursday that will create the Michigan Vietnam Veteran Recognition Certificate.
The bill, introduced by state Rep. Bob Bezotte, awards a certificate to Michigan citizens or anyone who was a citizen of Michigan while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces who was honorably discharged and served during the Vietnam War era
“This is a well-deserved acknowledgment for veterans of the Vietnam War, along with their families,” said Bezotte, a Marion Township Republican who served in the Vietnam War as a member of the U.S. Army.
According to official numbers, over 400,000 Michigan servicemen and women served in the Vietnam War, with 2,651 men and women giving their lives in the conflict.
“Several states have a similar certificate available for Vietnam veterans, but Michigan does not,” Bezotte said. “My plan aims to change that.”
The bill also 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.
Pictured: David Mester and Rep. Bezotte