Putvin wins Veteran of the Year

Long time volunteer and member of the Munising community Sonny Putvin was selected as the first annual Alger County Veteran of the Year on Friday, November 11.

“I didn’t do this for an award. I did this for the community,” Putvin said. “I don’t feel deserving of it, but it is very humbling.”

Putvin was overcome with emotion on receiving the award, trying to show his appreciation to over 300 people giving him a standing ovation. Admittedly as not being much of a talker, Putvin turned the microphone over to his friend and co-organizer of the Munising Fourth of July Festival Joe Paquette.

“We all know how Sonny wants to thank you, all of you,” Paquette said. “He goes all the way for this community and for his neighbors. He’s dedicated so much time and love to Munising.”

After turning over the leadership of the Fourth of July committee last summer after 50 years in the role, Putvin continues to be active in the community and in serving veterans. He regularly visits the DJ Jacobetti Home for Veterans in Marquette to make sure all the Munising veterans there are well attended and respected. Putvin has also organized efforts to clean and maintain veteran gravestones at local cemeteries.

Establishing and maintaining personal bonds to the community is a key factor in volunteerism, according to Putvin. “Being a part of the community is important and it makes you feel good to help your friends and your neighbors,” he said. “Just being a part of something bigger, everyone has helped each other out with something.”

Putvin was selected as the inaugural winner of the award from nine nominations, according to Alger County Veterans Affairs Service Officer Becky Johns.

“All of them have done so much for Alger County and they show everyday what it means to support your community,” she said.

Alger County Veterans Affairs has already opened up the nomination window for the 2023 Veteran of the Year award. Contact the Alger County Veterans Affairs Office at the courthouse or at (906) 387-1635 to submit.