Lansing Veterans Commission

Veterans Day Tribute 2018

Join us for a Veterans Day Tribute 

Saturday,  November 10th, 2018, at Lansing Catholic High School, 501 Marshall St., Lansing.

8:30 a.m. -  Complimentary Breakfast & Exhibits

10:30 a.m. Ceremony of Tribute with Massing of the Colors

For more information and the latest details around the event, please visit the Michigan Veterans Commission Facebook page.

For information and updates regarding the City of Lansing Memorial Day Ceremony, visit the City of Lansing Memorial Day Committee Facebook page. 

2018 Keynote Speaker: Major General Michael Stone, Michigan National Guard, Assistant Adjutant General

Keynote Speaker Major General Michael Stone

General Michael A. Stone is the Assistant Adjutant General for Installations, Michigan Army National Guard and serves as Michigan's Dual Status Commander for domestic response situations. He is responsible for Army armories and installations, strategic communications, strategic level cyber initiatives, and National Guard employment initiatives.

General Stone was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in 1989, designated as the Distinguished Military Graduate, through the University of Detroit Reserve Officer Training Corps program. He possesses a Bachelor of Arts degree in History, cum laude, from the University of Detroit, where he attended on a full academic scholarship. He also possesses a Juris Doctorate, cum laude, from the Detroit College of Law (now Michigan State University School of Law) as well as a Master of Science, Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College. He previously commanded the 1776th Military Police Company in Taylor, Michigan, the 1-182nd Field Artillery Battalion in Detroit, Michigan, and he recently served as the Deputy Brigade Commander of the 177th Military Police Brigade in Taylor, Michigan. General Stone has deployed three times as a member of the National Guard; serving as a Military Police Officer in Iraq during Operation Desert Storm, in support of Operation Joint Endeavor and most recently in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

2018 Guest of Honor: Dick Thelen, Seaman Second Class, U.S. Navy Survivor

Richard Thelen

Dick Thelen, Seaman Second Class, U.S. Navy Survivor, USS Indianapolis, torpedoed and sunk within the first hour of 30 July 1945 while en route from Guam to Leyte. 

USS Indianapolis (CL/CA-35) was a Portland-class heavy cruiser of the United States Navy, named for the city of Indianapolis, Indiana. The vessel served as the flagship for the commander of Scouting Force 1 for eight pre-war years, then as flagship for Admiral Raymond Spruance, in 1943 and 1944, while he commanded the Fifth Fleet in battles across the Central Pacific in World War II.

In 1945, the sinking of Indianapolis led to the greatest single loss of life at sea, from a single ship, in the history of the US Navy. The ship had just finished a high-speed trip to United States Army Air Force Base at Tinian to deliver parts of Little Boy, the first nuclear weapon ever used in combat, and was on her way to the Philippines on training duty. At 0015 on 30 July 1945 the ship was torpedoed by the Imperial Japanese Navy submarine I-58, and sank in 12 minutes. Of 1,195 crewmen aboard, approximately 300 went down with the ship. The remaining 900 faced exposure, dehydration, saltwater poisoning, and shark attacks while floating with few lifeboats and almost no food or water. The Navy learned of the sinking when survivors were spotted four days later by the crew of a PV-1 Ventura on routine patrol. Only 316 survived.

Dick Thelen: “I was 17 when my dad signed the paperwork for me to join the Navy. He took me to the railroad station after boot camp, and he shook my hand with a real firm look in his eye and said, “I want you to come home, Dick.” And I said, “Well, the war is just about over Dad, don’t worry about it.” So, when I was in the water and I wanted to give up, I saw my dad’s face, and I wasn’t going to give up for him. He brought me home.”

Lansing Veterans Commission 2018
The Lansing Veterans Commission has been organized to develop our region’s annual Veterans Day tribute event each November. The Commission will plan, fund and stage the Veterans Day event with the purpose of paying honor to America’s service men and women. Our goal is to ensure quality and continuity of the observance as the highlight of regional and state Veterans Day tribute programs.

As representatives for the region, the Lansing Veterans Commission will provide autonomous and responsible oversight. The Commission’s goal includes providing excellence in the public ceremonial and educational aspects of Veterans Day. Commission members are volunteers drawn from key institutions, including: military service branches and reserves, veterans’ organizations, education, community and business leaders, and government representatives.

The U.S. Military consists of five active-duty Services and their respective Guard and Reserve units. All branches are equal parts of the United States Uniformed Services, headed by the president as commander in chief. The Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force fall under the jurisdiction of the Department of Defense (DoD). The Coast Guard reports to the Department of Homeland Security during peacetime and to the DoD (by way of the Navy) during wartime.

Reserve and National Guard units perform as active-duty service members on a part-time basis. These troops train close to home, deploying when needed to aid in international conflict or domestic disaster relief.

RECEIVE OR REPLACE SERVICE MEDALS
If you are a Veteran of the United States military service, and need to receive or replace lost medals awarded to you for military service, please contact

Joseph R. Riker
Veteran Case Worker and Outreach
Congressman Mike Bishop (MI-08)
Office (810) 227-8600 Fax (810) 227-8628
[email protected]

VETERANS COMMISSION CONTACT INFO:
Lansing Mayor's Office - 517-483-7651

Martha Fujita, Special Assistant/Protocol, Office of Mayor Andy Schor
[email protected]