Welcome home Vietnam Veterans

FRESNO, Calif. Veterans who say they were not welcomed home with open arms after the war say it's an honor to officially be recognized.

35 years after the Vietnam War ended, veterans who served there were officially welcomed home.

"And I'd just like to let you Vietnam veterans know, these are examples, and all the folks in this audience are examples of people who are thankful you went."

On Sunday, nearly 150 people celebrated the first ever "Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day" at the VA hospital in Central Fresno.

Last year, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill to establish March 30th as an annual day to recognize those who served in Vietnam.

People like Roger Marshall who says he was spit on at the airport when he returned home from serving for the Navy in Vietnam. "Been a long time in the making, I'm sure. Too long. But it's good for the Vietnam veterans to be recognized."

Sunday's celebration included several speakers, stories and songs. Army veteran Ernie Lorta of Clovis brought his entire family to the event, including his young grandchildren, and his own son, Michael who currently serves in the Navy.

"Everything that was said out there hits the heart and it still a little bit, it's there, it's there."

"To come home and to know that family is there waiting for there and to know that people are supporting you, it's a very big help."

A help to these veterans who can finally say, it feels good to be home.

There were similar welcome home ceremonies held all over the state today, including one in Tulare.

Organizers of today's event say they hope to have one every year here at the v-a hospital.

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