LANSING — State Rep. Jon Hoadley (D-Kalamazoo) introduced House Bill 5135 today, which would designate March 29 annually as Recognition of Vietnam Veterans Day in the state of Michigan. The date is significant as it marks the day in 1973 the last American troops left South Vietnam, ending nearly a decade of conflict. Unfortunately, over 1,600 service members remain missing from their service during the Vietnam War.
“The Kalamazoo area has a strong group of local advocates who’ve been making sure that Vietnam veterans receive the recognition they deserve,” said Rep. Hoadley. “This bill was the result of one young man asking me to join him and other young people in giving our Vietnam veterans the recognition they deserve. His advocacy is a reminder that when people connect with government, we can make a difference.”
The recognition day would not be considered a state paid holiday but rather a special day of recognition across Michigan. Of 110 representatives in the House, 69 signed on as co-sponsors, from both parties, including several Vietnam veterans currently serving in the Legislature.
“We’ve been working on this in a very bipartisan way, for a long time,” said Rep. Hoadley. “My co-sponsors come from every corner of the state, and all walks of life. It’s clear that one thing that brings us together in Michigan is strong support for our veterans. I hope this will move quickly to a hearing, over to the Senate, and on to the governor to be signed into law.”