Local News

Mar 28, 2010 11:31 PM by Danielle Lerner

Guadalupe ceremony welcomes home Vietnam veterans

Back in September Governor Schwarzenegger signed a bill making March 30 "Welcome Home Vietnam Veteran's Day."

On Sunday people in Guadalupe held their own welcome home celebration and for many vets it was a dream come true.

An emotional day in Guadalupe as more than 100 people gathered to thank those who served in Vietnam War.

"We never got welcomed home, we never felt really a part of the community," said Philip Southwick, a Vietnam Veteran. "The war's still tough for me as it is for many of my fellow veterans."

The war may have ended nearly 35 years ago, but for many veterans the memories and wounds still run deep.

"When I went my whole family went with me, you know, they suffered not knowing if I was going to come back or not," said Henry Alfaro, president of Vietnam Vets of America. "It's just something that never goes away."

Sunday's celebration honored veterans from every branch of the military and paid tribute to those who never made it home.

A "thank you" more than three decades in the making, a solemn reminder that two small words can mean the world.

"This has brought our community together and it's brought us all together some 40 years later, " said Southwick. "It's a great feeling."

The Central Coast Vietnam Veterans of America sponsored Sunday's event.

The organization is dedicated to helping local veterans, it now boasts more than 200 members.

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