ROCK HILL, S.C. _ James Hall never thought this day would come.
Not after the political and social strife that greeted him and other military personnel as they returned from service in the Vietnam War. Certainly not after four decades.
But on Saturday, proudly waving a small American flag as he and a few hundred other Vietnam veterans marched onto the football field at District Three Stadium to a standing ovation from the community, Hall finally felt he'd been welcomed home.
"I'm doing my best not to get choked up," said Hall, 64, a Rock Hill resident who fought in Vietnam as a member of the Air Force from 1962 to 1968. "It's pretty cool."
The event was the area's first official "Welcome Home" ceremony for Vietnam vets. Organized by local veterans groups, families of those currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan and other sponsors, it was a time for not only welcomes, but also heartfelt thanks.
As belated as they may be.
"I don't care if it was 50 years later," Hall said. "This means a lot."
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