Sunday’s Christmas ceremonies at the Nixon Library honoring America’s best and bravest, gave special acknowledgement to the sacrifice of Vietnam veterans:

For Terry Griffke, a corporal in the Marine Corps who served in Vietnam, the acknowledgment of those who fought in his war was unexpected but welcome.

Griffke said he was part of the last combat air squadron that flew out of Vietnam in 1973. He still remembers the rejection he felt returning to America, including an occasion where a woman refused to take a seat next to him because he was a Vietnam War veteran.

“What you didn’t expect was the rejection you got doing what you thought was right for the country,” he said. “We cannot let people forget what war is about – the opportunity to meet in a public place and be free. That’s because of all the men and women who served well. Those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, the lives of their families are changed forever.”

Read more at the Orange County Register.