IRON MOUNTAIN -The third annual Military Appreciation Extravaganza, which is sponsored by the Dickinson Area Christian Women's Connection, was held at Pine Grove Country Club recently with approximately 200 in attendance.
The Patriot Guard Riders stood in the cold and rain with their flags as fellow veterans and their guests arrived to celebrate and honor veterans for their service to America.
Encouraging words were spoken by Col. Vance Visser from Williamsburg, Va., thanking all veterans for the sacrifices they have made. Visser spoke reassuring words to the servicemen and women who have recurring memories of challenging wartime circumstances and experiences.
Art Mitchell displays his award.
Art Mitchell was honored as the recipient of the prestigious "Citizen Patriot Award." The award reads, "Let it be known, that it is a privilege, on the occasion of Mr. Arthur Mitchell's recognition as the Citizen Patriot Award recipient for 2012, to honor Mr. Mitchell for his many years of dedicated service to our country, our military veterans, and our Upper Peninsula community. His commitment is an encouragement to us all, and we are sincerely grateful. Arthur served in the Armed Forces of the United States for more than three decades. His service included three years in the Army and 28 years in the Coast Guard, with those years spanning three wars, World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. In the years since, Arthur's dedication to his comrades has been visibly demonstrated by more than two thousand documented hours that he has served as a Veterans Administration Hospital volunteer and by the time and effort that he has put into his volunteer work with other service organizations. In special tribute, therefore this document is signed and dedicated to Arthur Mitchell. We congratulate him for the recognition he is receiving as the Citizen Patriot Award recipient for 2012 and we look forward to many more years of his faithful service among us." Signed by State Rep. Ed McBroom, State Sen.Tom Casperson and Gov. Rick Snyder.
The criteria for the award is "Exemplary Love, Honor, and Service; to God, Country, and Community." One veteran from Dickinson County and the surrounding area is eligible to receive the award, by written nomination
Mitchell is a lifetime member of the Uren-Cooper-Johnson American Legion Post 50 of Iron Mountain, which he has served many offices including past commander. He is currently Post chaplain and conducts military services for funerals.
He is also a member of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV), Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Coast Chief Petty Officers Association, Navy Fleet Reserve Association, Coast Guard Combat Veterans Association, and Non-Commissioned Officers (NCO) Association.
Mitchell received a folded flag, and the traveling plaque, which he has chosen to be placed at the American Legion Post 50 in Iron Mountain.
The Pledge of Allegiance was led by the winning essay contestants from the four participating schools, after the American Legion Post 363 posted the colors. These students are Paige Chartier of Norway-Vulcan; Anna Murvich of Holy Spirit; Lily Valenti of Woodland Elementary; and Madelyn Yake of North Elementary. All four students received an engraved medallion for their essays.
Chartier was acknowledged with the eagle traveling trophy for her winning essay. The trophy will be displayed in Norway-Vulcan Middle School's trophy case until next year's essay contest. She is the daughter of Paul and Michelle Chartier of Norway.
One hundred sixty five essays were entered, and will be sent as part of the Palmissano Care Package to the local deployed National Guard troop from Kingsford.
"The purpose of the Military Appreciation banquet is what the title of the event implies" said Patsy Norton, Christian Women's Connection spokesperson.