SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Vietnam Veteran’s Day marks the 50th Anniversary of the United State withdrawal of combat troops from South Vietnam, and veterans in NWLA gathered for a special ceremony to mark the day.

In the decades since, America has tried to atone for the treatment of troops when they returned home.

Vietnam veteran David Williams recalled what it was like to serve in Vietnam.

“It was fierce fighting at the time, up north and all around. You can see the helicopter and gun ships you can hear the explosions.” American Legion Hall Post 450 Commander David Williams said.

It was just like a smell in the air, like gunpowder. It was an eerie feeling, but you got used to it.” Williams said.

Williams and other Vietnam veterans in the area were honored for their service during a pinning ceremony near Barksdale Air Force Base.

Vietnam veteran Ken Epperson was a guest speaker and chaired the veteran celebration committee.

“Now, what we are doing is commemoration. We want to honor any and every individual man or woman that served in the United States Armed Forces.” Epperson said.

“I went in May of 1965 and got out in May of 1968. All those things happened to me,” Epperson said.

Epperson’s ties to the military-run deep, his father fought in World War II.

“It was just basically a tradition of my family members to enter the military,” Epperson said.

While the conflict in Vietnam was the most unpopular in US History, both Epperson and Williams say they are grateful for the opportunity to have served our country.

“It’s duty to honor and selfless service and look out for your buddy,” Williams said.