This summer, WGVU TV will broadcast Vietnam War Stories, a 3-part documentary produced by Wisconsin Public Television. While recording more than 100 interviews for the series, producers kept hearing the same comment from many of the veterans: they weren't welcomed home after grueling tours of duty 40 years ago in Southeast Asia.

On Saturday, July 3, 2010, they finally got that "Welcome Home," when WGVU, Grand Valley State University, and the West Michigan Whitecaps, in conjunction with the broadcast of Vietnam War Stories, presented LZ Michigan. (LZ is an abbreviation for "Landing Zone," military slang for a helicopter clearing where supplies or troops are landed.)

The LZ Michigan event at Fifth Third Ballpark honored and welcomed home Michigan's Vietnam War Veterans. This statewide effort culminated in a day of recognition and celebration of their service and sacrifice, for veterans, their families and the public. The event was not political or military. It was the community's expression of thanks, support and welcome for the men and women who served in Vietnam.

The July 3, 2010 event, LZ Michigan, featured a special evening celebration inside Grand Rapids Fifth Third Ballpark, which honored and thanked our community's Vietnam Veterans.

The ceremony honored those who were killed in action, those still missing and unaccounted for and the surviving vets, many of whom continue to suffer from injuries incurred in Southeast Asia.

The event featured speakers, recognition, musical entertainment and videos from the premiere of the Vietnam War Stories documentary, and closed with fireworks.


Support for LZ Michigan provided by: Air Zoo, Allegra, Anderson Family Chiropractic, B & B Beer Distributing, John and Marie Canepa, Centennial Securities, Ed Koehn Automotive Group, Fritz Wahlfield Construction, Grand Valley State University Conference and Event Planning, Michael W. and Priscilla Hill Gregels, Hopkins Propane, The Jant Group, Kalamazoo Detachment #879 of the Marine Corps League, Law Offices of Sean P. Cox, Mackenzie's Animal Sanctuary, Noordyk Business Equipment, United Bank, United Veterans Council of Kent County

Partners of LZ Michigan include: American Legion, American Legion Riders, Artisan Computers, BDO Seidman, City of Grand Rapids, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, Fifth Third Bank, Friends of Michigan Veterans Homes Inc, Gerald R. Ford Council-Boy Scouts of America, Grand Rapids Home for the Veterans, Grand Rapids/Kent County Convention and Visitor's Bureau, Grand Rapids Public Museum, Grand Rapids Young Marines, Great Lakes Naval Memorial and Museum, GVSU Veterans Network, Heartland Payment Systems, HIS Place Ministries, Icon Sign, Kent County Veterans Honor Guard, Michigan Blood, Michigan Commanders Club, Navy League, Navy Recruiting District Michigan, Noordyk Business Equipment, Patriot Guard Riders of Michigan, Pine Rest, Sean Cox-Attorney, Sons of the American Legion, Thousand Oaks Golf Club, United States Army Reserve, United States Navy, Van Andel Arena, Veterans History Project at GVSU, VFW Post 702 and Auxiliary, Vida Video, Vietnam Veterans of America, West Michigan Trails & Greenways Coalition, Wounded Warrior Project