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Mar 28, 2016 12:00 AM

Vietnam vets in Manchester finally thanked after long-awaited 'welcome home'

MANCHESTER - Manchester’s VA hospital came together Monday morning to serve veterans by having a "welcome home" and recognition ceremony for those who fought during Vietnam.

“It’s nice to be appreciated,” Susan Powers said. She and her husband Gary attended the ceremony where he was thanked for serving in Vietnam years ago.

Powers explained that back during Vietnam it was a much different time when he had to be smuggled back into his own country.

NH1 News asked Powers if it was what he was expecting and he said, “No, not quite. They actually were able to sneak us off ships and put us on buses to get us out of town.”

Powers met his wife immediately after he came back from Vietnam. The pair started to date just as he was getting back to normal life.

“So I said sure I mean it was a blind date but sure we went out and I met him," Susan said. "Then we hit it off very well and we got married the following July."

The Powers have been together ever since.

“About two weeks after I got married in 1969, I went to Vietnam and spent 9 months in the jungle,” veteran Jim Faber said.

Monday morning a photo resurfaced at the ceremony that hadn’t been seen in years.

“I can’t believe I made it through two (tours)," Faber said. "I mean it was not fun at all. Very, very tough seeing your friends get killed and your family back home."

Faber recognized a photo of the squad he served with in Vietnam, and the memory of an old friend who couldn't be saved resurfaced.

“Very mixed (feelings), very happy I made it but very sad a lot of these people didn’t,” Faber said.

The "welcome home" and "thank you" that so many veterans said took years to receive, are thankful it finally happened.

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