Vietnam veteran proud of his service, thankful for the holidays

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- Wayne Fulton always wears a hat that has Vietnam Veteran written across the front of it. 

He said he wouldn't have been caught wearing the hat for most of his life, because of the stigma that was once attached to the war.

When he came home from the war in 1960s, he said the country didn't respect the job he'd done in Vietnam.

“Now we're being recognized and other veterans are being recognized. We're making dog gone sure that the veterans coming home don't get treated the way we did,” said Fulton. 

He earned a bronze star and a purple heart overseas.

“The bronze star means more because it shows I did something to help someone else while I was there,” said Fulton.

This Thanksgiving, he was told thank you for his service and given a free turkey dinner with all the fixings at the Z'Tejas in Chandler.

A few hundred other military men and women also got a free meal.

“We want every veteran to be recognized for the honor and glory and just the pride that they served with,” said Fulton.

His wife Deena, served in the Women’s Army Corp in the 1970s.

During their time in the service, Wayne worked on the holidays and the couple rarely shared a holiday meal together.

“Now that we're both retired, the opportunity to actually share Thanksgiving together and to share it with other people who have served and the families who support those people means a lot,” said Deena.

The couple has been together for 36 years.

Both said they're looking forward to several more decades together.

“We're part of the old school. When you get married you stay married. When things go bad you work on it and you don't quit,” said Deena.