Veterans honored, recognized for service - WNEM TV 5

Veterans honored, recognized for service

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SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

Maria Espinoza is like a lot of veterans who understand the cost of war. She suffers from multiple sclerosis, which she said is from the stress of battle.

"I’m just happy that they finally recognized us," Espinoza said.

She served in the Navy during the first Gulf War. Veterans like her were honored at the Saginaw veteran's memorial plaza.

"I’m freezing but I’m warm because my heart is warm," Espinoza said.

A few hundred people showed up to pay tribute those who put their life on the line for our freedom.

"Men and women alike have throughout the years given everything for everything that we're able to do today," said veteran Katherine Thompson.

This Veterans Day holds a little more significance because this year, 2015, marks the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War.

"We came home we were forgotten," said veteran Norm Anderson.

Anderson is a Vietnam veteran. He said there were no celebrations like this in those days.

"We were just here. You come back to the states and they turn you loose and there never was nothing," Anderson said.

Other Vietnam veterans, like Roosevelt Chapman Jr. agrees. He said the welcome home terrible. He hopes history doesn't repeat itself. And Chapman said he wanted all those who wear the uniform to get a warm reception.

"Even if you don't agree with the war don't disrespect the veterans," Chapman said.

Despite Espinoza’s condition, she said she'd fight for the red, white, and blue again without hesitation and wanted everyone to understand the sacrifice it takes to make the United States the greatest country in the world.

"You need to respect the flag and respect the people who have done a lot for the flag and that were out there," Espinoza said.

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