In February, we brought you the story of Ryan Parrott. He’s a former Navy Seal sniper from Michigan who now runs “Sons of the Flag”, an organization that helps veterans with burn injuries. Parrott is coming back to Michigan from Dallas, where he lives now, to serve as the grand marshal of Dearborn’s Memorial Day parade on Monday. With a name like Parrott, you know he picked up a nickname in the Navy Seals--he’s called Birdman.
Lansing’s Peppermint Creek Theatre Company is teaming up with a national organization that gathers stories from veterans and their families for an upcoming project. “The Telling Project” wants to hear from Michigan people with military ties for what Peppermint Creek will call “Telling: Lansing”. It will be staged in November.
The Purple Heart is the oldest military award the United States of America gives to its service members. It’s sometimes called “the medal nobody wants,” because it’s given to those killed or wounded in combat. Now, a mid-Michigan man has joined those ranks. First Lieutenant William Milzarski is retired from the U-S Army. He first enlisted back on August 1, 1990 -- the day before Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. He spent just a few years in as a heavy construction operator. He was injured, got out and eventually went to Cooley Law School.
“American Sniper” has set box office records over the last few weeks. It tells the story of Chris Kyle, known as America’s most lethal Navy Seal sniper. The film is up for six Oscars, including Best Picture, and Bradley Cooper is nominated for Best Actor for his portrayal of Chris Kyle. The movie has generated lots of discussion, both pro and con, about Kyle’s legacy.
Ninety-six years ago today, the guns fell silent across Europe, marking the armistice that ended the First World War. Veterans Day has been officially observed as a federal holiday in the United States since 1954. Here in mid-Michigan, local veterans are having their stories preserved for the future.
It’s Wednesday and time for our Neighbors in Action segment, where we feature people and organizations working to make our community a better place. Today we feature the VFW National Home for Children. The campus, located in Eaton Rapids, offers a nationwide help-line and has 42 single-family homes for families of active duty military or veterans from around the country.
On this Veterans’ Day, there’s some good news to report for people transitioning from the military back into civilian life. A recent national survey ranks Ann Arbor and Lansing among the top 10 best medium-sized cities in the nation for hiring veterans.
Since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the United States has deployed nearly two million military personnel to Iraq and Afghanistan. As operations wind down, thousands of troops are returning home, and many with profound physical and psychological wounds.
The military is a unique sub-culture of American life: it speaks in acronyms, it has its own justice system, and it places great responsibility on its members. Yet despite their high level of training, thousands of veterans who leave the military struggle to find a job. A new initiative in mid-Michigan is designed to bring warriors to the workplace.