Utah State Council President and one of Northern Utah Chapter 1079 founders, Marine Sergeant Dennis Howland, was recently awarded as 2017’s Utah Elks Association Citizen of the Year.
After high school, Howland joined the Marine Corps and served at various stations across the United States, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Vietnam from 1964 to 1972. He earned the Air Medal after serving in Vietnam in 1966 and 1967.
Howland served as president of Chapter 1079 for two years. In 2015, he founded the Utah State Council. He is the Chair of the VVA National Public Affairs Committee.
One of the acts that Howland is most proud of is bringing Vietnam veterans and the Salt Lake City Vietnamese community closer together, including numerous joint activities with Australians.
Other things that Howland is proud of include re-establishing the Veterans Parade to Ogden, UT after a 50 year absence, and co-chairing the Vietnam Veterans Welcome Home Parade.
Howland is also celebrated for renaming interstate 84 to ‘Vietnam Veterans Memorial Highway’; writing legislation to establish March 29th as Vietnam Veterans Day in Utah; assisting in the addition of two Veterans Homes in Utah; and helping to build a Vietnam War memorial in Layton City, UT.
Other accolades bestowed upon Howland include the 2015 Utah Governor’s Veterans Service Award, the Veterans Nursing Homes’ Distinguished Veteran Award, and a five-year appointment on the Utah Governor’s Veterans and Military Affairs Commission.
When he’s not serving the state of Utah on veterans’ issues, Howland likes to DJ for karaoke parties.