ROCKY HILL, Conn. (WTNH) — The Connecticut Department of Affairs hosted a special ceremony on Thursday in Rocky Hill to thank Vietnam War veterans for their service.

The “Welcome Home Veterans Day” event honored the service and sacrifices American soldiers made they made during the war. The event also gave soldiers a proper “welcome home” ceremony.

When the United States ended its involvement in the Vietnam War, many soldiers received a less-than-welcoming reception upon their return home.

“They called us crazies when we got home. We went postal. We were loose on the streets. No more. By holding this ceremony here it means a hell of a lot to all of us and our loved ones,” said former State Rep. Ted Graziani, who served in the Vietnam War.

Fifty years later, the ceremony helped to extend the “welcome home” that Vietnam War veterans deserved and should have gotten upon their return.

“To our Vietnam veterans thank you and welcome home,” said Thomas J. Saadi, commissioner of the Department of Veterans Affairs. “Thank you.” 

“I just want to take this moment to say, I thank my father for his service. I thank all of you for your service. Welcome home,” said Connecticut Secretary of State Stephanie Thomas.