LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Tom Barrett on Thursday participated in the Michigan Senate’s 25th Annual Memorial Day Service, which honored the sacrifices of all the state’s fallen soldiers and featured a tribute to Pfc. Michael A. Thompson, who was killed in April while serving in Operation Inherent Resolve in Syria.
“We live in the land of the free because of men and women who answered the call to service and made the ultimate sacrifice defending liberty here and around the world,” said Barrett, R-Charlotte. “It was truly an honor to participate in this year’s ceremony and introduce the keynote speaker, Iraq War veteran Brian Daniels.”
Daniels was born in Lansing, served in the U.S. Army, and was awarded the Purple Heart Medal for the wounds he received in combat in the Iraq War. In 2005, Daniels was the sole survivor from his HUMVEE after the truck was blown up by an improvised explosive device.
“After learning to walk again, Brian ended his military career and became a personal trainer in New York before moving home to Michigan to raise his son,” Barrett said. “Last year, Brian and his business partner opened a boxing and fitness studio in Lansing, and he uses his life experiences to help others find their strength and make the most out of their lives.”
Barrett’s guest for the service was Gold Star Mother Cheryl Dreasky. Her son, Sgt. Duane Dreasky, served with Barrett. Dreasky was severely wounded in 2005 when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle in Al-Habbaniyah, Iraq. He suffered burns on over 75% of his body and died from his injuries in 2006.
Last year, Barrett honored his friend with Public Act 547, which dedicated a portion of M-5 in the city of Novi as the “Staff Sergeant Duane J. Dreasky Memorial Highway.”
“Duane was a great friend and a fantastic soldier who everyone looked up to,” Barrett said. “This Memorial Day, I encourage you to take a moment to remember those who protected us at the cost of their own lives. Their sacrifice shall never be forgotten or taken for granted.”
Editor’s note: The above photographs are available by clicking on the images or by visiting https://www.SenatorTomBarrett.com/photos/.