By Collin Breaux | Email: cbreaux@picketfencemedia.com | Twitter: @collin_breaux

Veterans were recognized for their service on Veterans Day, Monday, Nov. 11, during a ceremony at Veterans Park in San Juan Capistrano. Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 3801 of San Juan Capistrano and its Auxiliary honored all veterans during the event.

Veterans, members of veteran service organization, local officials, and the community came out to give remarks, eat food, and thank veterans for giving back to the country. The event also featured music and veterans standing up to be recognized with applause.

“It’s really nice,” Jim Gregory, who served from 1951 to 1959 in the Navy, said of the ceremony. “I joined when I was 17 years old. Went right over to Korea for the Inchon invasion, and later on went to Vietnam with this thing called Operation Passage to Freedom.”

He served during the Korean and Vietnam Wars, saving lives in Vietnam. Gregory is now 85.

Al Macias, who was grabbing a bite to eat while sitting in a chair during the event, said the recognition means a lot. Macias served from 1968 to 1972 and was a Navy corpsman.

“It was the best thing I ever did,” Macias said.

His wife, Christina Macias, said it was nice to see Vietnam veterans finally get respect, because they went through a lot and initially had no help for the post-traumatic stress disorder they went through. Christina and Al Macias have been coming to the Veterans Day events for many years.

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