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More Than 600 People in Attendance as Michigan Celebrates its Military and Veterans

Award recipients stand on stage at the gala displaying their certificate

More than 600 people honored and celebrated Michigan service members, veterans and veteran advocates Nov. 5 at the Michigan Military & Veterans Gala held at the Lansing Center.

“We owe a debt to our fellow Michiganders who serve and have served in uniform, and during the annual Michigan Military & Veterans Gala, we honor them and their families for their selfless sacrifices for our state and nation,” said Gov. Whitmer. “We also extend this honor to our military and veteran spouses and their families who sacrifice so much to support their loved ones and make a real difference in our communities. Let’s keep working together to make Michigan the best state for service members, veterans and their families to live, work and retire.”

The following individuals received awards during the ceremony: 

Veteran of the Year – Travis Snyder
Veteran-Friendly Volunteer of the Year – John Irwin; Peter Ruppert
Veteran Service Provider of the Year – Becky Burns
Community Outreach and Regional Engagement – Ryan Sanderson
MVAA & Trust Fund Exceptional Service – Amy Hills-Rabidoux
NAACP Roy Wilkins Renown Service Award – Thais Taylor
Michigan Army National Guard Recruiter of the Year – Michael Brunger
Michigan Air National Guard Recruiter of the Year – Jenna Gleason
DMVA Employee of the Year – Heather Green
VA Employee of the Year – Alissa Harris

The 2022 awards were chosen by an independent panel of judges and you can read more about the awards and the recipient stories here, Meet our 2022 Michigan Military & Veterans Gala Award Winners.

The gala was hosted by the National Guard Association of Michigan (NGAM) in conjunction with the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) and Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency (MVAA) - the state's coordinating agency for Michigan's more than 550,000 veterans and their families. In the week leading up to Veterans Day, the event was held at The Lansing Center and featured a series of awards presented to those who have not only served our state and nation in uniform, but those who advocate on their behalf. 

Remarks were led by U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Paul D. Rogers, adjutant general and director of the Michigan DMVA; Lourdes Tiglao, director of the VA Center for Women; MVAA Director Zaneta Adams; and Jeffrey Frisby, executive director of NGAM. Presenting this year’s awards were U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Lawrence E. Schloegl, assistant adjutant general and deputy director of the Michigan DMVA; U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Bryan Teff, commander of the Michigan Air National Guard and assistant adjutant general of the Michigan DMVA; State Rep. Robert Bezotte; and Chief Warrant Officer Jessica Ulrey. The gala’s master of ceremonies were Col. Scott Meyers, assistant adjutant general of the Michigan DMVA and Col. Shawn Holtz, commander of the 110th Wing, Battle Creek Air National Guard Base.

Photos are available for use here: