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KINZING1Raised in Belleville, Michigan.  Drafted and served as an infantry battalion radio operator with the 1st Air Cavalry Division in Vietnam from 1966-67. Received a Master’s Degree from Eastern Michigan University in 1980. Retired from Ford Motor Company as an engineering supervisor in 1997.

After being actively involved with the nationally recognized Washtenaw County Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 310 for almost 30 years, I have redirected my work. In the past seven years I was also VP of the non-profit, Operation Never Forgotten, which devoted its efforts to help post-911 warriors, their families, the wounded and fallen mostly through national outdoor media and special Montana retreats. In April 2015, I retired from ONF to focus my efforts more in the Michigan area. The desire to be involved with warriors who served in Iraq and Afghanistan is my living the motto of VVA, “Never Again Will One Generation Of Veterans Abandon Another.”

Although without PTS, the driving force within me could be survivor guilt. As a battalion radio operator, I needed to know what was going on with the rifle companies any time I was on the radio. The grunts dealt with the enemy. Our position was never overrun and there was never a time I needed to fire my weapon at an enemy. I was support for the grunts then, and that is what I seem to be doing today too.  Whatever it is, I have been bothered over the years with situations where a warrior found it easier to leave this life by his or her own hand, while I did nothing.

Since my wife of 31 years, Jane, and I are financially stable with our retirements, we do not need to do things for monetary benefit.  In fact, when we do fund raising, we usually cover all the admin costs.  For instance, we did that over the two years we raised money for the Washtenaw County Vietnam Veterans Memorial.  And we cover the admin costs each year for our VVA Chapter Christmas Program fund raising for our work at the Ann Arbor VA Medical center.

My fund raising experience, along with my organizing experience led me to start this new non-profit, Warriors And Caregivers United.  As our initial group of Iraq and Afghanistan PTS warriors and caregivers develop the organization, I and our group of mentors are here to help them succeed. Our vision is to develop an organization that focuses on helping as many combat PTS warriors and their caregivers, as possible, move forward to lives of normalcy.