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Michigan National Guard LTC pinned by her Vietnam veteran uncle surprises him with special recognition
December 21, 2023
MAJ Ashley Dykes and her uncle Danny Walburn share a special bond through their military service. Dykes joined the Army in 2003, then the Michigan National Guard in 2007. Dykes is a battalion commander of the 177th Regiment, Regional Training Institute (RTI). Her uncle SGT Danny Walburn joined the Army in 1969 and served in Vietnam as a M551 Sheridan Tank Commander.
On Thursday, MAJ Dykes was pinned as a Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) by her uncle at his home in Gladwin, MI. Normally the promotion ceremonies would be held at Ft. Custer in Battle Creek, but with her uncle unable to travel, the Michigan National Guard allowed the ceremony to be held at his home.
After pinning his niece, Walburn was surprised with a Michigan Vietnam Veteran Recognition Certificate from the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, signed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Adjutant General Paul D. Rogers.
The certificate is awarded to recognize service during the Vietnam War by all members of the U.S. Armed Forces who served during the Vietnam War era (February 28, 1961 - May 7, 1975) and were honorably discharged. Veterans and their families interested in applying for the Michigan Vietnam Veteran Recognition Certificate should visit the Michigan DMVA website.