Many join the armed forces for different reasons.
They go into different branches.
But for many local veterans, veterans day celebrations have a similar meaning.
“To be honest, I wanted to start crying, it got me choked up,” Army Veteran Angela Hays said. “But it also made me extremely happy to see all the children clapping. And I feel like they had a good feeling of what it truly meant.”
But for some like Brian Lees and Jack Hoskins, this kind of reception isn’t something they’re used to.
“When we first came back to the country, back to the United States, we were told to watch ourselves when we came into LA, because they were demonstrating, they shot a couple people out there at the time. So we sort of come in with our heads ducked,” Air Force Veteran Jack Hoskins said.
Both served in the Vietnam War.
“The country was beautiful flying, but once you landed, and got in the midst of and you see all the wounded and you see all the carnage, it wasn’t a great thing,” Hoskins said.
So times like these have a little bit of a different meaning.
“I went on honor flight, I came back from honor flight and got a welcome home that should’ve taken place 40 years ago,” Air Force Veteran Brian Lees said. “Every one of these events, it’s refreshing. But even more refreshing is schools are trying to teach patriotism.”
And if you talk with them, you’ll hear some good and some bad, but you won’t hear any regrets.
“Best choice I could have ever done, It made a man out of me. It corrected a lot of my bad habits, It taught me responsibility, it taught me accountability for myself. And it actually boosted my own personal integrity,” Lees said.