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I Am a Veteran Campaign
Every Michigan veteran has a story, and we are documenting them. This page is dedicated to the stories of our veterans, including underserved and underrepresented veterans. The stories are part of our marketing campaign called I Served. I Am a Veteran. The goal: motivate other veterans to identify, tell their stories and get connected to the benefits they earned for their service. Dependents of veterans are also encouraged to tell their loved one’s story. By directly addressing the issues our veterans face — such as PTSD, racism and sexism, difficult transitions to civilian life — we want to build a stronger community of veterans and stem veteran suicide. Call us at 1-800-MICH-VET to get connected to benefits and resources.
If you’d like to submit your story, please fill out this Nomination Form and send it to MVAA-Newsroom@michigan.gov. Stories and photos of our veterans will be posted on this page and potentially used for advertising.
‘My way of giving back:’ MVAA employee honors late husband, Iraq War veteran through her work
Tribal veteran Rodney Loonsfoot: Becoming an Ogichidaa
Retired Maj. Lorrena Black: ‘The Army changed my life’
Air Force veteran Sapphire Pates: 68 combat flights, two wars
Iraq War veteran Carlos Castillo: Turning pain into promise
Coast Guard veteran Crystal Murry: 'Living my life for me'
WWII Navy veteran Maurice "Bud" Prottengeier: Still going strong at 100
In 1942, Maurice “Bud” Prottengeier, an 18-year-old college student, decided to enlist in the Navy along with his friends before they were drafted into World War II. Although that was 82 years ago, the Flint native has no problem recalling the details of his service as a "Seabee" in the war. Read Maurice "Bud" Prottengeier's full story.
Linda Woods: First woman veteran to carry an Eagle Staff
WWII Army nurse Irene Hosking: A trailblazer for women veterans
A trailblazer for women veterans, Irene Hosking was one of the first female nurses to give anesthesia to injured soldiers during WWII. In 1946, she was denied entry to her local VFW, but she’d eventually go on to be her post’s first female commander. At 105, Irene says she’d “sign up for the Army all over again” to serve her country. Read Irene Hosking’s full story.
WWII veteran George Milekovich: Survived kamikaze attack
Navy veteran George Milekovich survived a Japanese kamikaze attack on his battleship during World War II that killed four fellow sailors. On April 8, 2023, Milekovich turned 100 in Lansing and was honored for his service. “He’s got a lot of grit,” said Anton Milekovich, George’s son. Read the full George Milekovich story.
Peacetime veteran Lloyd Clayton: ‘Others before self’
Lloyd Clayton has always believed in “others before self.” The 82-year-old Flint resident grew up poor in Alabama during the height of the civil rights movement and recalls listening to Martin Luther King Jr.’s sermons at church. He joined the Army in 1957 to earn money. When he ran into financial hardship recently, he turned to the Michigan Veterans Trust Fund for help. Read the full Lloyd Clayton story.
Vietnam veteran Jim McCloughan: Medal of Honor recipient
In the rice paddies of Vietnam, Army Pfc. McCloughan, a combat medic, truly learned what it means to give it your all. To risk your life — and take multiple rounds of shrapnel — for a group of comrades who had quickly become “closer than brothers.” For his heroic efforts, McCloughan earned the military’s highest honor. Read the full Jim McCloughan story.