Stamp celebrates 30-year Michigan and Latvia union
By Molly Goad
Latvia Post issued a new stamp May 3 acknowledging 30 years of the country’s partnership with the Michigan National Guard.
Michigan and Latvia’s collaboration is a part of the U.S. Department of Defense’s State Partnership Program, which links the National Guards of all the U.S. states and territories with another nation’s military and disaster response units.
According to the U.S. Department of Defense, the State Partnership Program began in 1993 with 13 partnerships. Today, the effort has expanded to 88 relationships and adds new ones each year.
Latvia was one of the first nations to join the program in 1993.
The Latvia €1.65 stamp features a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter and was unveiled during events in Riga, Latvia’s capital, on May 3. About 200 Latvian dignitaries and a delegation of Michigan National Guard leaders gathered to celebrate their joint achievements.
“There is a lot of talk these days about how a country cannot safely exist without a strong military defense capability,” said Marcis Vilcans, board chairman for Latvia Post. “The 30-year cooperation between the Latvian National Armed Forces and the Michigan National Guard certainly meets these criteria, so we have issued this new stamp to remember old achievements and to look ahead toward future objectives.”
The stamp design reflects one of these future objectives, as Michigan and Latvia will soon fly the UH-60 Black Hawk together to improve mutual air mobility capability.
Arts Griva designed the stamp, and Baltijas Banknote of Latvia printed it in a quantity of 25,000.
For ordering information, visit Latvia Post’s online shop.
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