Casperson welcomes Vietnam veteran to Senate’s Memorial Day service

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Tom Casperson welcomed Roy and Julie Hinkson of Manistique to the state Capitol on Thursday for the Michigan Senate’s 23rd Annual Memorial Day Service, which honored Michigan’s fallen soldiers.

Roy Hinkson served in the U.S. Army. While serving in Vietnam, Roy was shot 13 times and was awarded a Purple Heart.

“I was proud have Roy and Julie Hinkson as my guests for the Senate’s solemn tribute to our fallen heroes,” said Casperson, R-Escanaba. “We must never forget those who gave their lives defending liberty, and we owe it to them to celebrate everything they fought and died to protect. That is why having the Hinksons with me for the ceremony was so poignant. Roy served our nation and was wounded in the Vietnam War and he is still fighting for personal liberty today.”

Earlier this year, Roy and Julie Hinkson told the Senate Natural Resources Committee about an issue related to their private property surrounded by the Hiawatha National Forest. The land has been home to his family’s deer camp for more than 60 years.

In 1976, the original cabin was destroyed by fire. At that time, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) suggested that the new cabin be built 25 feet east of the original cabin to avoid any boundary encroachment concerns. Despite taking the USFS up on that suggestion, Hickson recently learned that the cabin is situated on federal forestland.

“However, Roy didn’t learn about the encroachment by way of a phone call, letter or the like, but rather when the forest service, with assistance from other government agencies, stormed the camp with guns drawn,” Casperson said. “If that was not troubling enough, rather than simply asking him to work with the very agency that originally suggested where the cabin should be located, the forest service issued him two criminal citations for the claimed encroachment, which he has spent significant time and money fighting.

“The unwarranted treatment of an honorable veteran and private property owner is extremely troubling. Roy Hinkson’s situation has adversely impacted him, his family and a community that cares about him. Their battle is about our rights and freedom from an overzealous government.”


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Sen. Casperson issues statement on the death of Rep. Kivela

LANSING, Mich. — In response to news of the tragic death of Rep. John Kivela, D-Marquette, Sen. Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba, issued the following statement:

“Like many in the U.P., I lost a dear friend with the tragic passing of John Kivela. My staff and I feel profound sadness over John’s death, as he was like a part of our office through the kindness and support he offered to us.

“I know we join many, not only in the U.P, but across the state in holding John’s wife Sandy and their two children in our prayers over their loss.

“I choose to remember John through the many happy times we shared, through the friendship he offered, and through assistance he provided to me and to so many of the constituents we shared. I also will remember the many legislative successes that were the result of the U.P. legislators coming together and focusing on the issue and not the ideology.

“It is part of John’s legacy and one we would do well to remember. Frankly, the working relationship that the U.P. delegation formed was the result of John’s outreach and personality. I will forever remember our first spaghetti dinner together — while the homemade dinner John prepared for us was delicious, it was laughs and the personal stories we shared that birthed the start of a friendship that I am so grateful to have enjoyed. He is already missed and he will always remain in our hearts.”