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Bezotte Vietnam Veteran bill passes Senate

A local lawmaker’s bill to create the Michigan Vietnam Veteran Recognition Certificate has been approved by the state legislature.

House Bill 4065, introduced by state Rep. Bob Bezotte (R-Howell), 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.

Bezotte, who served in the Vietnam War as a member of the U.S. Army, has called it “a well-deserved acknowledgment for veterans of the Vietnam War, along with their families.”

David Mester and Rep. Bob Bezotte

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.

Bezotte credited former State Rep. Dr. Hank Vaupel, a Vietnam War veteran and former Army Captain, and former Marine David Mester for their assistance.

After passing with a majority in the House, the bill was approved unanimously in the Senate and was sent to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on July 10.

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