Mid-Michigan honors veterans, military members with observances

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FLINT (WJRT) (11/10/2017) - Mid-Michigan groups are honoring veterans and military servicemen and women Friday and Saturday in observance of Veterans Day.

One of the largest observances took place Friday morning at University of Michigan-Flint. The university said it's crucial that it continues to lead effort like this ceremony to show veterans that they and their service are valued.

The program manager for the Student Veterans Resource Center on campus, Geoff Roberts, said he hopes the campus community will honor the men and women who have served in the armed forces. More than 300 are on campus as faculty, staff or students.

It started with the flag ceremony led by members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

U of M-Flint Chancellor Susan Borrego told the audience Veterans Day has always been special to her because she was taught as a child to remember how important service members are to the country. Others mentioned the need to help Vietnam veterans who had been exposed to Agent Orange or the many veterans who are unemployed or homeless.

The keynote speaker was an alumnus of the University of Michigan, Brigadier General Carol Ann Fausone. She served in the Air Force for 36 years.

Fausone said public support of veterans has improved a lot over the past several years, but it's not enough.

"I would hope we could do more," she said. "Everyday, I believe, should be Veterans Day. We should be ensuring they have the health care, the benefits, the resources they need -- not only for themselves but their families."

At Covenant HealthCare in Saginaw, staff and patients also took time Friday morning to honor those who have served our country.

The hospital paid tribute to many of it's employees and volunteers who happen to be veterans themselves.

Following a ceremony, Covenant's staff-veterans teams up with volunteers to visit patients who have also served time in the military. They presented each patient with a handmade red, white, and blue blanket.

Over the last year, volunteers helped make more than 150 of those blankets.

More observances were planned Saturday:

A Veterans Day service at McFarlan Park in Flint begins at 11 a.m. The program should last about an hour.

The Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly Township is hosting a Veterans Day ceremony at 11 a.m. Saturday.

U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee is hosting a Veterans Day town hall beginning at noon Saturday in the Riverfront Banquet Center in Flint. The event will provide a forum for veterans to share their stories and for community members to listen and learn from their service.

“Our veterans selflessly served our country and it is important for us to show them that we value and honor their service,” Kildee said. “This Veterans Day, let us not only thank service members for their service, but also listen to veterans and hear their stories. I am looking forward to sharing this special day with veterans and our community.”

The Bay City Veterans Day celebration at the Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum begins at 1 p.m. Saturday.

All Saturday events are free and open to the public.

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