ANN ARBOR (AP) – Gov. Rick Snyder said Tuesday that the state is working year-round to offer assistance to veterans, with job fairs and increased efforts by the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency to better connect them to services and benefits.
Snyder’s remarks came as numerous events and displays statewide were scheduled to mark Veterans Day. He noted, for example, that Michigan has passed laws designed to make it easier for veterans to use their specialized skills in civilian life.
“Today is a great day to honor our veterans and thank them for their service,” Snyder said in a statement. “But it shouldn’t just be about today. Each and every day, we’re proud to have them home. They put their lives on the line for our country, and that’s a debt we can never fully repay.”
Snyder said he is encouraged to see Michigan businesses hiring veterans, saying they have “great talents and leadership skills.”
To mark Veterans Day, VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System is installing a “Faces of Heroes” website to display photos of area veterans. A kiosk displaying submitted pictures was being installed Tuesday at VA Ann Arbor Medical Center.
The Veterans for Peace Chapter 93 in Ann Arbor hosts a ceremony including 226 crosses representing Michigan soldiers who died in Iraq and Afghanistan. Davenport University in Grand Rapids and its Student Veterans of America chapter displays vehicles and equipment like those used overseas.
A Bay City ceremony at the docking station of the decommissioned USS Edson includes a prayer, flag-raising and gun salute.
On Tuesday, a sculpture of a Grand Rapids man killed in the Vietnam War was dedicated at Grand Valley State University’s downtown Grand Rapids campus, The Grand Rapids Press reported. Marijo Pataniczek stepped forward during the event and kissed the sculpture of Dennis Lobbezoo, her brother.
“We couldn’t do that when he died,” Pataniczek said. “There was no touching him when he came back.”
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