A day of parades, ceremonies and remembrance

Vietnam Vet Hernandez was one of many honored at the celebration

Sirens and flags opened up this year's celebration in San Benito, TX to honor their beloved veterans.

For Vietnam Veteran Joe Hernandez this was not just another parade, but a very special homecoming.

The former Air Force officer now lives in Del Rio, TX and wasn't bothered but excited by his five hour drive to get here.

As he recalled his days in the service he told Action 4 that it is great to feel his native city's welcome.

Quite a different picture than when he first arrived from Vietnam.

"Initially we felt hurt," said the Veteran. "We wanted them to love us the way we loved our country."

But Joe isn't jaded by those remembrances, instead he said he's just happy to see things have since changed.

"Of course now a days they do more than just welcome you. Sometimes they want to pay for my meals. I say no, no. Just the fact that you give me a handshake that's all I want. But no I just agree with them and let them buy me lunch!"

Along with Hernandez were a dozen other members of the different branches of the military, both from past and present wars, all unified to conclude a day of recollecting their days in the service with a ceremony at San Benito's own Veterans' War Memorial.

As for the former Air Force Vet, he said he is just left with the memories and battle wounds from his days in war.

"I was sprayed with agent orange, so I got the cancer, I've got the COPD and all kinds of problems with my legs."

A sacrifice he said was worth the price of freedom.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off