Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 154 founder Pat Daniels was named Veteran of the Year by the Macomb County (Mich.) Board of Commissioners on Nov. 7 in recognition of his long legacy of support for fellow veterans. Daniels’ service has been so important, in fact, that the board subsequently voted to rename the award the Pat Daniels Macomb County Veteran of the Year Award in its inaugural year.
“Pat Daniels is the epitome of a veteran who supports his community and fellow veterans,” said Board Chair Bob Smith. “When speaking of veteran affairs in Macomb County, he is the first individual to come to mind, and his service to others explains why.”
Daniels served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War from 1970 to 1971 and helped launch Chapter 154 in 1991. With more than 1,000 members, it is the third-largest chapter in the U.S. Daniels serves on the Veterans Affairs Commission, facilitates clothing drives to help homeless vets and chairs the annual Ride for Freedom fundraiser, which raised $32,000 this year.
“I was honored and humbled,” Daniels told C&G Newspapers. “The things that I do for veterans — the things I’ve been doing for 40 years — were never about the recognition. It was always about helping the veterans. It’s just beyond anything I certainly deserve.”