Vet appreciates recognition on Veteran’s Day: “Coming out of the Vietnam War, we were flipped off, spit on …”

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – They bravely volunteered to fight for the safety of our country, and the freedoms all Americans enjoy today. Across our region, Veterans of all U.S. military branches of service were honored on this Veteran’s Day.

News10NBC attended the ceremony held at the Irondequoit Town Hall. It was a day to celebrate the courageous efforts of our Veterans, and to say thank you.

“Its public recognition for the sacrifice that the men who are currently serving, and those that served that didn’t come back,” said Army retired Lt. Colonel Andre Evans.

Military Veterans stretching as far back as World War II were honored this Veteran’s Day by both young, and old. They came out to not only remember the years they spent fighting in foreign wars, but the bond they shared protecting the United States.

“I think it’s important for all of us to remember who we are, and why we are, and the reason why we exist from even before this country was born was, because of the men, the citizen soldiers who took up arms to protect freedoms,” said Evans.

Evans served in both Iraq, and Afghanistan. He’s also here to remember those who served before him.

“Many people don’t realize that a lot of Blacks were also the Founding Fathers who served along Adams, who fought in the Revolutionary War. Over 20,000 Blacks, so it represents freedom for all of us, not just some,” said Evans.

According to the Statista website which tracks the death of U.S. Military members in all foreign wars, more than 520,000 servicemen, and women, were killed from 1775, until this year.

“It’s good to see so many young people coming out to remember what Veteran’s Day is truly about. To honor our fallen comrades,” said National Guard Major Charles Cobb.

Retired from the Navy, Don Wilbert, choked back tears as he added, “Coming out of the Vietnam War, we were flipped off, spit on and treated like, not very well. Let’s put it that way, and its nice recognition to get a thank you, and it means more when you hear it from a youngster, when they come up, and say thank you, so.”

Today’s Veteran’s Day celebration was hosted by the Irondequoit American Legion Post #134.