Veterans honored all across East Texas - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Veterans honored all across East Texas

(KLTV) - East Texans spent the day Friday honoring those who have served.

At Hawkins High School, around 30 hometown veterans were honored in a ceremony where the student body turned out.

The vets were honored with patriotic music and a chance to tell their stories of service.
For some, it was the first time they had talked about their war service.

WWII vet Claude Grishman says, "For probably 60 years, I haven't talked about it and here recently I've learned that to share our experiences with other people."

Orr Elementary in Tyler hosted a special assembly Friday morning.

The kids gave our country's heroes a warm welcome and then gather around to hear one veteran's story of patriotism.

Ken Hackney served as a Chief Warrant Officer second class in the U.S. Army. He is now the state commander for Disabled American Veterans.

"I want you to know that we all did it and we did it for you because we love you and the welcome that you gave us today is payment enough for what we've done because you have shown us that you care for your veterans," Hackney expressed.

The well deserved warm welcome he received at Orr Elementary, is something quite different from what he received years ago.

"I was a Vietnam veteran, and we came home--we didn't get a welcome, we were unable to wear our uniform down the street without getting mugged, getting spit at," Hackney recalled.

He says by sharing his story with children, he can help make sure today's veterans are treated with the respect they deserve.

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