‘Something I’ve never had’: Vietnam veteran given proper welcome home ceremony after 50 years

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BEREA, Ohio — A Vietnam veteran is finally getting a proper welcome home after 50 years.

On Thursday, the city of Berea hosted a special ceremony for Sgt. Willie Springer.

They wanted to thank the 71-year-old for his service and also celebrate all that he’s done in the community since then.

“It appears the whole city is here. I am so amazed this is something I’ve never had,” he said.

Chaplain Springer, as he’s known now, is in charge of the Veterans Outreach Office for the City of Berea.

He also spends his time visiting veterans in nursing homes and helping their families grieve when they pass away.

He said it’s important to give back and connect with those around him.

“We’re touching the people who were in my shoes one time that didn’t want anything to do with the government, but I learned that you have to befriend a person before you’re able to be friends and once you befriend them you become friends. Then you can talk about what they’ve experienced,” he explained.

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