Early November events celebrate Michigan veterans
As Veterans Day approaches, we are inviting Michigan veterans and their families to a formal gala in Novi on Nov. 4 and a veterans recognition ceremony at the Capitol in Lansing on Nov. 9. Here are more details:
Michigan Military & Veterans Gala
Here's a great opportunity for veterans and their significant others to enjoy a formal night of dinner, drinks and dancing!
The third annual Gala will take place at the Suburban Collection Showplace, 46100 Grand River Ave. in Novi. The event starts with an evening social at 6 p.m., followed by an awards presentation at 8 p.m. and a post-awards celebration at 9 p.m.
Tickets are $60 apiece and available online at the National Guard Association of Michigan's website. The deadline to purchase tickets is Thursday, Oct. 26.
See photos of last year's Gala at the Michigan National Guard's Flickr site.
Michigan Veterans Day Recognition Ceremony
The Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency will officially honor Michigan veterans for Veterans Day with a ceremony at the state Capitol on Thursday, Nov. 9.
The Michigan Veterans Day Recognition Ceremony will take place from 9:30-10 a.m. in State Room North of Heritage Hall at the Capitol.
The event is free and open to veterans and veteran advocates. More details are forthcoming, including scheduled speakers. We are excited to gather with our fellow veterans and recognize our collective service to this great nation!
Military transition classes improving, but attendance still lags
More service members are attending military-to-civilian transition classes than ever before, but thousands are still falling through gaps in the separation process and missing out on help needed to successfully start their lives as veterans, advocates and lawmakers are warning.
Of particular concern are the large numbers of separating troops who are missing mandatory two-day transition classes. In a recent report, officials from the Government Accountability Office found that the requirement was waived for more than half of all service members—and nearly one-fourth of those troops were considered at risk for transition problems.
That translated last year into nearly 11,000 military members—many of them enlisted—leaving the ranks without clear employment plans or a handle on what support resources are available.
Read the full story in Military Times.
MVAA's free WhyMI app offers real-time job board and more
Veterans who are transitioning to Michigan, as well as veterans and their families who already live in the state, can benefit from the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency's WhyMI app. This free app, available through Google Play or the Apple App Store, provides a real-time job board for veterans categorized by region, employers and job categories, along with information on VA benefits and health care, housing, education and other resources for veterans.
Michigan law ensures surviving spouses of disabled veterans can keep property tax exemptions
Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation recently that benefits disabled veterans and their families by amending the General Property Tax Act.
The package of bills ensures that spouses of disabled veterans can maintain property tax exemptions, even after their spouse passes away. In addition, a disabled veteran or their surviving spouse only needs to file an application for the Disabled Veterans Property Tax Exemption once, rather than refiling every year.
Here are more details on the three-bill package:
- Senate Bill 176 was sponsored by Sen. Sylvia Santana (D-Detroit)
- Senate Bill 330 was sponsored by Sen. Mary Cavanaugh (D-Redford Twp.)
- Senate Bill 364 was sponsored by Sen. John DaMoose (R-Harbor Springs)
VA resources for veterans with disabilities or children with Spina Bifida
The month of October is particularly meaningful to the VA's Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E) Service, as it is both National Disability Employment Awareness Month and Spina Bifida Awareness Month.
VR&E helps eligible service members and veterans with service-connected disabilities obtain suitable employment and achieve independence in daily living to the maximum possible extent. VR&E offers five tracks: reemployment, rapid access to employment, self-employment, employment through long-term services and independent living.
VR&E also helps eligible dependent children with spina bifida through the Benefits for Certain Children with Disabilities Born of Vietnam and Certain Korea Service Veterans (Chapter 18) program. This program enables individuals to gain the skills necessary to achieve their career goals and succeed.
Learn more about both programs at VA News.
How did Veterans Day get started?
Veterans Day got its start seven months before the official end of World War 1 when an armistice between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.
For that reason, Nov. 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of "the way to end all wars." Veterans Day continues to be observed on Nov. 11, regardless of the day of the week on which it falls. This year, Veterans Day is on a Saturday.
President Wilson proclaimed Nov. 11 on November 1919 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day, which almost 45 years later would be renamed from "Armistice Day" to "Veterans Day." After World War II, and the Korean War, Veterans Service Organizations advocated Congress to broaden the scope of honoring veterans. With the approval of this legislation (Public Law 380) on June 1, 1954, Nov. 11 became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.
On June 28, 1968, the Uniform Holiday Bill went into effect, ensuring three-day weekends for federal employees by celebrating four national holidays on Mondays: Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day and Columbus Day. This meant that Veterans Day would no longer be celebrated exclusively on Nov. 11.
The first Veterans Day under the new law was observed with much confusion on Oct. 25, 1971. It was quite apparent that the commemoration of this day was a matter of historic and patriotic significance to a great number of U.S. citizens. On Sept. 20, 1975, Public Law 94-97 was signed by President Gerald Ford, returning the annual observance of Veterans Day to its original date of Nov. 11, beginning in 1978.
Learn more about the history of Veterans Day and its historical significance VA News.
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