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A lasting tribute to our Vietnam Veterans

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A monument on the capitol grounds was unveiled Saturday.
It's a lasting tribute to our Vietnam Veterans.

A homecoming for Vietnam veterans that took nearly as long as the war itself.
"Vietnam taught us a lesson, a lesson that we should always honor and respect the sacrifice and courage of all our soldiers," says Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, Texas State Senator.
"We served our country with pride and our country now recognizes that. This is for Texans that served in Vietnam; never again will one generation of veterans abandon another," says Wayne Smith, Texas State Representative.
The memory of those who served in the Vietnam war is being kept alive at the Texas Capitol.
Personalized dog tags honoring the 3,417 Texans who were killed or unaccounted for have been entombed in the 14-foot high bronze sculpture.
Their legacy is now alongside the heroes of the Alamo, the Confederate soldiers and Texas veterans of World War I, World War II and the Korean War.
"It's a brotherhood that is coming together. It's like we knew each other from way back when," says Pete Garza, Vietnam Veteran.
Pete Garza served in Vietnam from 1968 to 1969 as a combat medic.
He says this dedication was long overdue.
"Personally it makes me proud that we were able to serve and defend our country at the time of the calling. There are things that are still ongoing that our Vietnam veterans need support from," says Garza.
This monument serves as place where thousands can show their support on a daily basis.
"Gotta do this for my brothers, that's what it's all about," says Welton Miller, U.S. Army.
"All of the soldiers that went together, some of us came back, some of us didn't. They paid the price, we were lucky but they are still our brothers. They're the heroes, not us. They are the heroes," says Dan Medrano Jr. U.S. Army.
The Vietnam War began in the late 1950's.
A decade later, at its height, nearly 500-thousand Americans were deployed to Southeast Asia, thousands of them from Texas.
When it was all over, many say those veterans did not get the homecoming they deserved.
"We now better understand that obligation. That we honor those who have fallen and died for our freedom," says Governor Rick Perry.
Saturday's unveiling occurs on the 41st anniversary of the day the last American combat troops left Vietnam.
March 29th has been formally designated as Vietnam Veterans Day.

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