Fifty years ago this week, President Richard Nixon held a White House reception for American prisoners of war from Vietnam. His namesake library in Yorba Linda celebrated the anniversary of their homecoming with a number of reunion events.
More than 150 Vietnam prisoners of war and their families were greeted with a hero's welcome outside of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library on Tuesday.
"It is such a small thing for us to do that I hope has a great meaning for them," said Mike Shanahan, a former police officer wanted to show his support for them.
Families, students and fellow veterans showed their appreciation and support.
Tom Babnick served during the Vietnam War.
"I think it's important for the men who went... about 58,000 never came home."
Norman McDaniel is a former POW.
"First of all, blessed to be alive, to be here. My wife of 62 years, for a year and a half she didn't know if I was dead or alive. I was just missing in action," he said.
McDaniel said reuniting with his comrades was special, but added the real heroes are all the families who sacrificed a lot, like his wife.
"We'd been married five years. Had a son, not quite 4, and a daughter going on 1. When I came back in '73, we celebrated our daughter's 8th birthday. The son was going on 11. And of all the things I missed most is that time away from those children because you can't make it up," McDaniel said.
The POWs were the first to see Captured: Shot Down in Vietnam, a special exhibit at the Nixon Library.
The Nixon Foundation said the homecoming also serves as a reminder that thousands of men did not come home so we should thank these veterans and these POWs any chance we get.