Macomb County is home to over 44,000 veterans and as Veterans‘ Day approaches, the Macomb County Board of Commissioners expresses its appreciation of the countless military service members who have made selfless contributions toward protecting our country. It is an honor to recognize those who have sacrificed their lives to ensure the freedom of others.
Each year, the Board recognizes a veteran who has made significant contributions to our veteran community by honoring them with the Pat Daniels Macomb County Veteran of the Year Award. Nominations for the Pat Daniels Macomb County Veteran of the Year Award are closed as of October 27. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us by emailing bocadmin@macombgov.
The Macomb County Board of Commissioners honored Gary Purcell with the 2023 Pat Daniels Veteran of the Year Award for the significant contributions he makes in helping our Veterans! Gary Purcell is the current president of Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) Chapter 154 and has held several leadership positions in both the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA). He helped establish the Gold Star Mothers Memorial in Clinton Township and arranged for the repair and maintenance of the Eastpointe Veterans Memorial and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Freedom Hill, both at no cost to the taxpayers.
The Macomb County Board of Commissioners honored LTC John E. Walus with the 2022 Pat Daniels Veteran of the Year Award for the significant contributions he makes in helping our Veterans! He was nominated by the Honorable Mark S. Switalski and Honorable Tracey A. Yokich, who were also present to honor him.
LTC John E. Walus leads the Macomb County Veterans Treatment Court (MCVTC) mentor program and has been essential to the success of graduates since the program’s inception in 2012. He has also worked with 41-B District Court to launch the misdemeanor Veterans Treatment Court. He then took on the responsibilities of Treasurer and acting President of the Friends of the Macomb County Veterans Treatment Court, a nonprofit fund created to assist the MCVTC and its participants.
The Macomb County Board of Commissioners honored Pazzella Colston Bonner with the 2021 Pat Daniels Veteran of the Year Award for the significant contributions she makes in helping our Veterans. As a former US Army soldier with a passion for giving back, she co-founded Homes for Heroic Veterans. Her mission is to end homelessness for the Veteran population in our community.
Phil Randazzo was honored by the Macomb County Board Commissioners as the Pat Daniels Veteran of the Year in 2020. Phil is a Vietnam Veteran of the United States Army who unselfishly gives his time, energy and undaunted efforts to Macomb County’s large and growing community of veterans in need. Phil serves his community as a compassionate and empathetic advocate for our county’s veterans. He is instrumental in the organization of the annual Memorial Day Parade and Veteran’s Day ceremonies for the township and also serves as a devoted member of the Macomb County Older Adult Advisory Committee where he is the voice of his fellow older adult residents and veterans of Shelby Township.
Patrick Daniels was honored by the Macomb County Board of Commissioners as Macomb County’s first Veteran of the Year in 2019 and is the namesake of the Macomb County Commissioners Veteran of the Year award. Patrick served in the United States Army during the Vietnam War and has received many awards and accolades for the significant contributions he made toward protecting our country. Patrick has volunteered his time and efforts for more than 18 years as a member of the Macomb County Veteran Affairs Committee, on which he has served as Chair of the Committee for 12 years. As Chair, Patrick was a crucial proponent in making the Macomb County Veteran Services Office the best in the state. Patrick also serves as one of the charter members of Vietnam Veterans of American Chapter 154 and as a treasurer of Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association of Michigan Chapter 35-3. Patrick raises considerable donations for various veterans associations throughout Macomb County. Each year he organizes a highly popular and well-attended Memorial Ride for Freedom event which raises significant amounts of funding which are donated to the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Detroit as well as the Fisher House Foundations.