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Veterans receive warm welcome home in Central City

Dozens of veterans receive applause from Central City students, staff, and community members.

Central City is starting the Veterans Day celebration a day early, with their decades-old annual tradition honoring those who served and sacrificed.

Dozens of veterans, including Army vet Lynn Millard, were part of the ceremony.

Millard remembered returning from in a time when appreciation was scarce.

"When I came home from Korea, nobody said anything," said Millard.

Times have changed, and now those from Korea and Vietnam are celebrated for their efforts overseas.

Elementary school students sang 'Proud to be an American,' as several spouses of the vets wiped tears from their eyes.

The emotional ceremony also featured taps and other military music.

Perhaps the highlight for the veterans is the Walk of Pride, something Central City Schools Superintendent Tim Cronin described as a "mini-parade."

Students line the halls, each holding a flag and thanking veterans as they walk by for their service.

"We're just thankful that we have students that are so enthused about welcoming us," said Millard, who recalled horror stories of maltreatment, particularly for those returning from Vietnam.

For Central City High School senior Rachel Campbell, the annual tradition is well-deserved.

"Knowing that they have to go through something like that, it is very heroic," said Campbell. "Those heroes that are sitting in the gym, they deserve it all."

Most of the veterans shrugged off the attention, shifting the focus to their significant others.

Millard said he couldn't have been the soldier he was without his wife's strength and support back home.

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