HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - A special veterans event in Hattiesburg Saturday was 50 years in the making.
A luncheon at the Lake Terrace Convention Center honored Vietnam War veterans.
It's the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the War in Vietnam and the Department of Defense has encouraged local communities to host events like the luncheon, to say thank you to the servicemen and women who participated.
The event was sponsored by the Hattiesburg Veterans Committee.
"It's a great thing now, a great deal," said John Fontaine, a veteran of the U.S. Marines, who served with the 3rd Marine Division in Vietnam in 1968-69. "It's about time all of the veterans from the Vietnam War get this kind of recognition."
"It was nice, very nice, a long time coming," said Johnny Pope, a U.S. Army veteran who served in Vietnam from 1968-69. "It would be good to have something else like that sometime."
Each veteran also got a commemorative T-shirt, a challenge coin and other gifts.
Organizers estimated up to 800 veterans and their families took part in the event.