DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – An Ypsilanti Veteran, who helped save the lives of dozens under enemy fire during the Vietnam War, is one step closer to receiving a Medal of Honor. Major Charles Kettles served in the Army during the Vietnam War.

Kettles is credited with saving 44 soldiers and crew members from the 176th Aviation Company after their helicopter was destroyed in 1967.

“The total mission for the day, as I recall, I think there were nine crew members wounded, but … none killed,” said Kettles. “Shortly after we touched down a mortar round went off — the nose section — took out part of the windshield left and right, and took out pretty much the entire chin bubble on the left side where I was seated.”

The Michigan delegation introduced legislation in Congress last week to award the medal of Honor to Kettles. After Congress approves, the president is expected to sign-off as well.

The Medal of Honor is the highest award that can be given to military personnel.

In other parts of the state, parades and memorials were held throughout the day.

With more than 660,000 veterans in the state, Gov. Rick Snyder said Michigan is “working hard to fulfill our obligations to these brave men and women.”

Southfield marked Veterans Day on Tuesday. The city’s police and fire departments joined in a 21-gun salute, The Detroit News reported, and Tyrone Chatman, executive director and CEO of the Michigan Veterans Foundation, placed a memorial wreath outside city offices.

An annual parade was held in Detroit, and Veterans for Peace placed 229 white crosses at a memorial park in Ann Arbor to honor Michigan soldiers who died serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

West Ottawa High School honored Marine Staff Sgt. Andrew Seif and more than 70 other local veterans and their families at an assembly, according to MLive.com.

Seif, of Holland, and two other Michigan Marines were among 11 service members killed March 10 when a military helicopter crashed in dense fog during a training exercise in Florida.

Mike Blondin and about two dozen other veterans attended a ceremony in the Pinconning Area Middle School gymnasium.

“My thoughts are, modern kids don’t have respect for their elders, but I was proven wrong today,” said Blondin, who served in the U.S. Navy from 1964 to 1968.

A re-dedication ceremony was held at the war memorial in Bay City and a Project Freedom Walk took place at Veterans Memorial Park, The Bay City Times reported.

In Kalamazoo, members of the Westwood Garden Club worked for years on plans to restore the Veterans Memorial at Riverside Cemetery. The memorial was to be rededicated Wednesday.
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