Service, sacrifice of Vietnam veterans honored at Holly ceremony - WNEM TV 5

Service, sacrifice of Vietnam veterans honored at Holly ceremony

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The service and sacrifice of Vietnam veterans was remembered and honored Saturday in a ceremony at Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly.

"To all my brothers, welcome home. I'm glad you made it," said Mike Omstead.

Omstead served in the US Marine Corps during the Vietnam War. He and other Vietnam veterans from all military branches shared a special moment today in Holly.

The Vietnam veterans commemorative ceremony is held to honor all who have served, sacrificed and achieved. “I think anything that makes awareness is a wonderful thing,” said Omstead.

Event coordinator Joseph Mishler says he agrees. He too, is a Vietnam veteran, having served in the United States Army.

"It feels good to honor people. The veterans deserve it, they deserve someone to give them some recognition--it's not easy to serve your country, I don't care what anybody says," said Mishler.

Recognition is exactly what each veteran received. One by one, those who served in the Armed Forces received a commemorative pin for their sacrifices during the Vietnam War.

Omstead said the pin is a reminder of his time in the Marines. "It's beautiful, I will wear this on my lapel forever, and it indicates that I was with my friends, my brothers," explained Omstead.

Brotherhood and sisterhood--the special bond created between soldiers was a focal point at the ceremony and Bruce Freimark says it's the support the Vietnam veterans needed at such a critical time in our nation’s history.

"This is a great opportunity to thank those folks who stood up and said I may or may not agree with what's going on, but I'm going to support my country," said Freimark.

Freimark served in the US Air Force and performed battle hymns at the event, saying he's glad he can still contribute in some way.

"I learned on piano some of these military songs, the battle hymn of the Marines, the Army song, even the Coastguard’s marching song, Air Force and the Navy, and never thought that there would be a niche for me to play them, and for there to be such an appreciation," said Freimark.

The Great Lakes National Cemetery is one of just two national cemeteries in Michigan.

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