LONG BEACH, Calif. - Volunteers, many of whom are veterans themselves, turned out in force on Friday for a barbecue at the VA Long Beach Healthcare System.
Vietnam veteran Joe Gramoglia is one of many volunteers from the group Disabled American Veterns who put on the event. He explained there's no stronger feeling than helping his fellow man.
"When they see all this going on they say, 'wow,' and they start telling us their stories. How they were slapped in the face, how they're not being taken care of," he said. "It just tears you heart apart."
He said the event is a small way to show the men and women they are not forgotten. They fought for our country and suffered injuries, and they're always respected.
The event was much more than just a meal for vets, it also provided veterans a chance to talk with each other and to help each other.
Terri Jeffcoat, who is a veteran and an employee at the VA hospital said, "I met a new female veteran the other day in the hospital, and she was going through the same thing I was going through, so we were able to help each other and that's what this is about: veterans helping veterans."
Many of the men and woman at the event said they are indeed the lucky ones because many of their friends never made it. They added that they will always be remembered.
"None of us have been forgotten," said veteran Robert Taylor. "We are always going to be on somebody's mind -- somewhere and somehow - so, I'm just glad to be here."