Marquette man honored as UP Veteran of the Year

Charles Hawes is interviewed after being honored as the 2018 U.P. Veteran of the Year at the U.P. State Fair in Escanaba on Thursday. (Deborah Prescott/Daily Press photo)

ESCANABA — Charles Hawes, of Marquette, was honored as 2018 Upper Peninsula Veteran of the Year during a ceremony at the Upper Peninsula State Fair.

Veterans, citizens and officials were in attendance Thursday, including Gov. Rick Snyder and other elected officials.

Hawes was an E-5 second class petty officer in mobile construction battalions 6 and 121, while in the U.S. Navy. During his time in service he received many medals — including the National Defense Service medal and the Vietnam Service medal.

Hawes is a life member of VFW Post 6 in Marquette, along with DAV Chapter 22. He supports the American Legion Post 44 and many other veteran groups.

“This is why we join …it’s all about veterans helping veterans,” Hawes said. He is also a member of the Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 380.

Hawes spends time volunteering at St. Vincent De Paul Society and the D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans, both in Marquette. He is a former assistant scout master of troop 302 in Marquette.

The Marquette County Veterans Alliance nominated Hawes. He was the 2017 Marquette County Veteran of the Year. The U.P. Veteran of the Year Committee decides who receives the award by scoring the candidate’s service to country and community.

State Sen. Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba, presented an award, “Charles Hawes … Held in high regard in the State of Michigan,” read Casperson. After reading the award, Casperson and state Reps. Sara Cambensy, D-Marquette; Scott Dianda, D-Calumet; and Beau LaFave, R-Iron Mountain, made a special tribute presented to Hawes.

Hawes was presented with a cap, pin and coin and previous recipient of the award, Larry Dillman, put a green jacket on Hawes.

Hawes thanked everyone for the very special award and the support of his family and lifelong friends.

“Veterans are a national treasure … I would like to thank everyone who’s shown respect and kindness to a veteran.

“I’m accepting this award on behalf of all veterans and auxiliary members, those of which I’ve worked with in the past and I continue to serve with today. May God bless and protect our future veterans, for they are the future of this country, and all veterans organizations. Please accept my sincere thank you, and God bless America,” he said.

“Charles is the best of Michigan, an ambassador of Michigan,” said Snyder.

Deborah Prescott can be reached at