ESCANABA — It was a busy day at the U.P. State Fairgrounds. Today celebrated Veteran’s Day and Governor’s Day at the fair. Governor Gretchen Whitmer, along with other U.P. political leaders, toured the fairgrounds and helped recognize the 2019 U.P. Veteran of the Year.
Bernard “Bernie” Stanaway Jr. of Negaunee was awarded the honor of U.P. Veteran of the Year. Stanaway, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, has continued to serve his community in the years since. He is Commander for VFW Post 3165 in Negaunee and is a member of the DAV and Paralyzed Veterans of America. He also does volunteer work for veterans in the U.P. area and regularly volunteers at the D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans.
“It’s a great honor to get this award today. It’s very humbling. I’m not one to try and pat myself on the back or anything but it’s very humbling and very rewarding to get this,” says Stanaway, “I don’t do what I do because I want accolades, I do it because I see a need and I do it. It’s just who I am.”
Stanaway was also honored by fellow Marine Corps veteran and State Representative, Congressman Jack Bergman.
“It’s a recognition of outstanding service, above and beyond, but number two, it’s an example for those young men and women to say, ‘Hey, when I’m done serving, there’s another way to make a positive impact’,” says Congressman Bergman. “Honoring service to the community that, in so many cases, is provided by veterans.”
Congressman Bergman also read Stanaway’s honor into the Congressional record on August 6, 2019. The honor will be on record forever.
The Honorary U.P. Veteran of the Year was also awarded at the ceremony today. Wayne Roy was given the honor, only the fourth to ever be awarded. Roy is a member of the Gladstone American Legion Post 71 and also serves on the U.P. Veteran of the Year committee.
“I’m very very humbled by this. When I was asked to be the recording secretary for this group, I had no idea that I would be the recipient of this,” says Roy. “As I retire, I still told the chairman that just because I’ve retired doesn’t mean I’ve gone away.”
Organizers of the U.P. Veteran of the Year event say they are in need of donations to keep the program going.