DEARBORN (Press & Guide) — Lifelong Dearborn resident Kay Vartanian marked another milestone in her life; celebrating her 102nd birthday Monday.
She also is a proud veteran of the Army, and in November she was among the Armenian American Veterans of Detroit celebrating its 70th anniversary.
During the event, Vartanian was honored for her military service.
Vartanian enlisted in the Army on Sept. 1, 1943, and was stationed at Fort Oglethorpe, Ga. She served until January 11, 1946, receiving an honorable discharge. She received the Victory Medal, the American Theater Ribbon, the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps Service Ribbon and a Good Conduct Medal.
During the anniversary celebration, the Armenian American Veterans of Detroit recognized all men and women who have served, or are still serving, in the U.S. armed forces. A Military Honor Guard was on hand to present all five flags, and there was an empty table for the servicemen and -women who are missing.
One of the highlights of the evening was a Photo Wall of Honor that featured more than 300 photos of veterans who have served since World War II, including Vartanian, her late brother and her late nephews.
Leaders believe Vartanian is the oldest woman veteran in the area.
During the celebration, Master Sgt. Vartanian was escorted front and center by members of Vietnam Veterans of America Post 528 – Plymouth-Canton.
There, she was given a tribute from state Rep. George Darany (D-Dearborn) on behalf of the state of Michigan. She received a plaque from the city of Dearborn and tributes from U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-12th District).
Vartanian received a standing ovation from the nearly 250 guests.