A U.S. Army Veteran who rose through the ranks of the Lest We Forget organization to its presidency has been named the recipient of State Senator Kim LaSata’s Veteran of the Year Award for 2019. Larry Wozniak of Stevensville receives that honor revealed today by LaSata’s office.
The Senator says, “West Michigan is blessed with so many great veterans, and it is my honor to recognize Lawrence Wozniak as the 21st Senate District’s Veteran of the Year,” and adds, “Larry’s dedicated service to country, community and family is to be admired and celebrated. On behalf of everyone in our part of the state, I say thank you to Larry and congratulations on this much-deserved recognition. We all are grateful for his service and for all veterans who have served our country.”
Wozniak is a veteran of the U.S. Army who served for five years of combined active and active reserve duty, which included a tour in Vietnam.
He entered the Army in 1969 and quickly rose to the rank of Second Lieutenant. He was assigned to the 1st Engineer Battalion at Ft. Riley, Kansas before transferring to 535th Signal Company, 39th Signal Battalion, Plantation, Viet Nam after advanced training as a signal corps officer, during which he was promoted to First Lieutenant. Upon his return to the U.S. he continued to serve on active reserve and was promoted to Captain.
Wozniak was nominated by Thomas Wozniak because of his volunteerism in Benton Harbor, St. Joseph, Stevensville and throughout Southwest Michigan.
The Veteran of the Year currently serves as president of Lest We Forget, the veteran service organization that continues to illuminate the past through special programs including live re-enactments along the shores of Lake Michigan and at the Southwest Michigan Regional Airport. He also serves as an officer with the Knights of Columbus Council at St. Joseph Catholic Church, and as a member of the Lakeshore Lions Club and the West Michigan Tourist Association.
He is past president of the Southwest Michigan Tourist Association, past president and former 14-year member of the Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce board of directors, former board member for Support Our Troops, and a former member of the Lakeshore Rotary Club.
He and his family also owned the former Bella Villa Motel on Red Arrow Highway and transformed it into Park Inn International. It now flies the Super 8 flag in Southwest Michigan.
The photo of Larry accompanying this story on Moody on the Market is courtesy of Lest We Forget. He is in the Vietnam t-shirt at the center of the photo.