DEARBORN, Mich. — On November 14, 2015, the Armenian-American Veterans of Detroit celebrated their 70th anniversary by honoring all the men and women who have served or are serving in the United States Armed Forces. There was a Military Honor Guard, Presentation of the five military flags, and an empty table for all the missing servicemen and women, a blessing of the Veterans and Taps in memory of all veterans who have served. There was also a photo wall of honor displaying photos of Veterans, who served in wars from World War I to the present.
Kay Vartanian, who is a life long Dearborn resident, was honored for her service. Vartanian, who will be 102, was born on January 25, 1914 and lives in her Dearborn home. There is reason to believe she may be the oldest woman veteran in the area. She is a vibrant lady with stories to tell.
That evening, Master Sergeant Kay Vartanian was escorted front and center by members of the Vietnam Veterans of America Post 528 – Plymouth-Canton. US Rep. George Darany (D-Mich.) presented to Vartanian a tribute from himself and Gov. Rick Snyder.
Karen Nigosian, a Dearborn City Commissioner, presented her with a plaque from Mayor John O’Reilly.
Edward H. Korkoian, chairman of the event and president of the Armenian-American Veterans of Detroit, presented her with tributes from US Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and US Rep. Debbie Dingle (D-Mich.).
Vartanian received a standing ovation from the 240 guests
She enlisted in the Army on September 1, 1943 and was stationed at Fort Oglethorpe, Ga. She served until her honorable discharge on January 11, 1946. She is the recipient of the Victory Medal, American Theater Ribbon, WAAC Service Ribbon and Good Conduct Medal.
The photo wall had more than 300 photographs and other memorabilia of Armenian men and women who have served the US armed forces. Kay, her late brother Lt. Col. Harold C. Vartanian, who served in the US Army in WWII, and her late nephew, Lt. Col. Donald N. Vartanian of the US Army were included on the wall.
All those attending were reminded that the brave servicemen and women pictured fought and served in places from WWI, WWII through today to protect the freedoms we all enjoy.