Eau Claire (WQOW) - Hundreds gather Saturday to celebrate a new Wisconsin holiday, honoring a special group of veterans.
Thirty-seven years ago, the last U.S. troops left Vietnam.
"I was over there November '69 to December of '70," says veteran John Myers of Eau Claire.
Saturday, the service of those soldiers like John Myers was recognized officially.
"This is the first time anybody has ever done anything for us veterans," Myers says.
Last summer Governor Doyle signed a bill designating March 29th as Vietnam Veterans Day in Wisconsin. That's the day the last American combat troops left Vietnam.
"It's an official welcome home for what myself and other Vietnam veterans did in the name of freedom for their country," says veteran Dann Dunham.
Side by side, hundreds of veterans and Hmong people who fought beside those Americans celebrated Saturday in Eau Claire. For friends and family, it's a moment of pride as well.
"It's a special moment for all of them to be recognized for the first time," says Sarah Peleschak, John Myers' daughter.
The celebration continues Saturday evening with a banquet at the Eau Claire Moose Family Lodge.