A special ceremony was held Feb. 24 at the Regency at Westland skilled nursing care facility to honor a local veteran for his service to this country.
U.S. Army veteran Mark Alexander Spence, 76 — who is currently in hospice care at Regency at Westland with the support of Accent Care — was honored with a proclamation from Westland Mayor Mark Londeau and received multiple honors in a pinning ceremony.
Spence, born in Port Huron in 1946, achieved the rank of SP/4 while serving in Vietnam from January 1968 to December 1969 as a radio operator. He married his wife Judith in 1971 and they raised four children — Alexandra, Jamie, Caryn and Mark Anthony. Spence has 8 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild, and his lifelong passions include muscle cars and Lionel trains.
Attending the ceremony were two of Spence’s four children — daughters Alexandra and Jamie, who attended with their spouses. Jamie lives in Monroe, and Alexandra lives in Wyandotte. Spence’s wife passed away in 2007.
Family has ‘proud military history’
Alexandra said there is a proud military history in the Spence family, with her grandfather having served at Pearl Harbor. She said the family was honored to see the Regency at Westland and AccentCare teams come together to recognize her father.
“It was a very nice ceremony, so heartwarming to see them honor my father,” she said. “We’re glad we were able to honor him. Everyone realized this needed to be done to honor everything he had done to keep this country safe.”
Londeau read a resolution honoring Spence for his service to this country, and presented him with his honors alongside members of the mayor’s staff, including City of Westland Veterans Liaison Vic Barra, and members of the Livonia-based American Legion Post 32 Honor Guard.
In addition to the flag pin, a certificate and flag were presented to Spence. Mayor Londeau expressed his gratitude to Spence and all veterans who have fought to protect our freedom.
The ceremony featured an introduction and prayer from Rev. Sabrina Wright, performances of “Kumbaya” and “Amazing Grace” by Sharon Ann Floyd, a performance of “America the Beautiful” by Jennifer Smith, a poetry reading by Mary Biber of the Clive Sander poem “Unless You’ve Been a Soldier,” followed by the presentation of the certificate and the pinning ceremony. The event wrapped up with a gun salute outside the facility by the American Legion Post 32 Honor Guard.
In addition to honoring Mr. Spence, additional veterans currently living at Regency at Westland were also recognized for their service during the event.