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The Veterans Memorial Foundation hosted its 15th annual Veterans Day ceremony in Atascadero

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Posted at 6:22 PM, Nov 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-11 22:51:32-05

The Veterans Memorial Foundation hosted its 15th annual Veterans Day ceremony in Atascadero.

The annual event included an Estrella Warbirds flyover and music from Central Coast Pipes and Drums.

Those who have served and sacrificed for our freedom were recognized and honored.

“I think it’s a good day to just acknowledge the efforts and sacrifices that veterans have made," said John Couch, a United States Army veteran.

“It’s very special. When we sign up… we don’t sign up to get recognized, we sign up for our country," said Veronica Vazquez, United States Marine Corps veteran.

Vazquez is one of those veterans standing tall and proud as a female veteran.

“You are a female but you are just like everyone else. We are strong. We are smart. Just like everybody else," Vazquez said.

On Friday, she was gifted a Quilt of Valor along with 24 other veterans.

“I was just like wow, this is amazing. For them to take the time to do this for us as veterans, it’s very beautiful," Vazquez said.

She said this event was special as it was the first time she could have her whole family together to share this moment.

John Couch received the "Distinguished Veteran Award" after serving in the U.S. Army and 31 years in law enforcement.

“Humbling, really, because when you look out into the crowd, there are so many veterans here that deserve to be recognized in the same way," Couch said.

One thing Couch and Vazquez both shared is that an event like this makes them feel at home, looking around and seeing other veterans who understand their story and who they see as family.

The ceremony recognized dozens of war veterans of all branches of service. The veterans also got to enjoy a free lunch from the Atascadero Kiwanis BBQ crew.