veterans

Dick Thelen photo
Kevin Lavery / WKAR

In the waning days of World War Two, a Japanese submarine sank the USS Indianapolis. Hundreds of sailors who survived the sinking spent four days in the water, facing sharks, dehydration and exposure. Current State’s Kevin Lavery brings us the incredible story of survivor Dick Thelen of Lansing.


Our Neighbors in Action segment this week looks at Camp Liberty in Jackson County. It’s a volunteer operation that gives veterans a chance to spend time outdoors enjoying activities like fishing, hunting, hiking and canoeing.


Norm Knappman photo
Scott Pohl / WKAR

Current State talks with Norm Knappman of Howell about the long-term effects he has suffered after his exposure to mustard gas during World War II.


Courtesy of Ryan Parrott

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.

Retired U.S. Army First Lieutenant William Milzarski.
WKAR/Kevin Lavery

    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.

State officials estimate about 30,000 military veterans live in the Lansing region. A new program aims to connect veterans’ services such as health care and educational benefits more efficiently.

Courtesy of Ryan Parrott

“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.

Flickr - DonkeyHotey

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.

The Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency is launching a new program aimed at helping veterans re-enter the work force.

Neighbors in Action: VFW National Home for Children

Jul 30, 2014
vfwnationalhome.org

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.

State trust fund helps Michigan combat veterans

Apr 17, 2014
Credit Flickr - Bart


The Michigan Veterans Trust Fund helps combat-era veterans weather economic emergencies. The fund operates within the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency. The director of the Agency, Jeff Barnes, recently appointed U.S. Marine veteran Lindell Holm to run the trust fund.

stormthehill.org


All this week, veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been in Washington D.C. to lobby for legislation aimed at reducing the numbers of veteran suicides.

New mental health resource serves Michigan vets

Dec 18, 2013
Scott Pohl/WKAR

There’s a new mental health resource for military personnel and their families, and Michigan is at the forefront of the effort. It’s called Star Behavioral Health Providers.

Flickr - Michigan National Guard

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.

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