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Vietnam veterans eligible for state certificate honoring service

Recognition of Honor certificate. It reads: This honor is given to [NAME]. The State of Michigan hereby honors Michigan Vietnam Veterans of the United States Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard for honorable service during the Vietnam War Era 1961-1975." There's a place for Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Adjutant General Paul D. Rogers to sign with a special insignia for exposure to Agent Orange
Courtesy
/
Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency
There is a special designation on the certificate for veterans who were exposed to the chemical Agent Orange and became sick because of it.

The state of Michigan is recognizing Vietnam-era veterans with a new certificate honoring their service.

The certificate is available to Michigan residents who went to Vietnam during the war and were honorably discharged. There’s also an option for a designation noting exposure to the chemical Agent Orange.

The director of the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency Adam Hollier says many Vietnam vets were mistreated when they came back to the U.S. Often, they’ve never talked about their experiences.

“We think it’s going to be an incredible opportunity for our state to say thank you, but most importantly, to allow people to tell their story and engage with their family," he said.

“This is something that you could put up on the wall, that you can display on your mantlepiece or that you can have as a conversation piece to show and value the service of people who really gave everything.”

Hollier also hopes eligible Vietnam veterans will apply this week for new federal benefits approved under the PACT Act related to toxic substance exposure in service.

Meeting the Thursday deadline will make those benefits retroactive to the act’s passage two years ago.

As of 2020, there were an estimated 190,000 Vietnam veterans in Michigan.

Scott Pohl is a general assignment news reporter and produces news features and interviews. He is also an alternate local host on NPR's "Morning Edition."
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