10. February 2012 11:29
The State of Michigan Veterans’ Services Division honored Dorrene Roberts and the Adrian Village community apartments on Feb. 10 for their commitment to help and hire veterans. Adrian Village provides safe and affordable housing for families. Dorrene and Adrian Village received specially-minted commemorative coins and certificates recognizing their service to veterans.
“The Veterans’ Services Division is in the business of helping Michigan’s returning heroes find jobs and establish a secure and productive life back home,” said Retired Major General Robert Smith, director of the State of Michigan Veterans’ Services Division. “From time to time we encounter a rare individual like Dorrene Roberts who goes above and beyond to help veterans. The State of Michigan owes her and Adrian Village a debt of gratitude for helping those who have served our country.”
Dorrene was nominated by Mick Albig, the Lenawee County veterans’ employment specialist with the state’s Veterans’ Services Division, whose help Dorrene sought when Adrian Village had an opening for a maintenance worker. Albig connected her with Raul (Ray) Burciaga, a veteran who had recently returned from deployment with the Michigan Army National Guard in Iraq. Ray was the motor sergeant for his unit, responsible for the maintenance and accountability of equipment and supplies.He was hired initially for a part-time position with Adrian Village, and by August of 2011 he was elevated to permanent full-time status.When Ray was called up recently by his National Guard Unit for three weeks of training, Adrian Village found a way to meet their maintenance needs while protecting his position.
Ray says he joined the Army in 2002, because he felt a civil duty after the 9/11 tragedies. He worked in infantry and as a mechanic. He also was part of the 82nd Airborne Assault. He spent six months in the border patrol on the Texas-Mexico border, and also did relief work after Hurricane Katrina. After his active duty, Ray signed up for six years in the Army National Guard. He is a communications technician and does mechanical work. Ray spent 13 months in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom. He and his wife have three sons, 7, 5, and 3, and are expecting their fourth child this summer.
Dorrene is also a veteran. She joined the Air Force in 1989 and worked in the weather field. She was stationed in Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and in Omaha, Nebraska at Offutt Air force Base. Dorrene also spent time in the Middle East during the first Gulf war. During and after her active duty, Dorrene took advantage of the military's education benefits and graduated from Bellevue University in Nebraska with a bachelor's degree in business management. She has been with Lutheran Social Services for more than 10 years.