"Present these flags to the commander!"

In his first American Legion Post 49 Flag Retirement Ceremony, Willie Jones gives orders as Vice Commander.

"I recommend that they be fittingly and honorably destroyed!" Jones ordered

Sunday was a day that's twice as special for Jones.

He is a veteran -- serving in the United States Marine Corps during the Vietnam war.

"Once we hit the beach, our 1st tour they lined us in high tide so we were submerged in water," Jones said remembering his tour in Vietnam as a ground troop.

Also participating in the flag retirement was fellow Vietnam Veteran Connie Velasquez. As a Dental Laboratory Technician in the Air Force, some of her memories from the war still linger.

"We took care of the airmen and all the pilots that came through. I got to see POW's when they came home. It was a very moving experience," Velasquez said.

Before the two were presenting a flag as unserviceable, they had visited the Fields of Freedom at the Veterans Park in Vidor.

Thousands gathered there for Veterans day including World War II Navy Veteran Sydney Chance.

"I've enjoyed this, I certainly appreciate the people being with us like they have," Chance said.

In the face of danger these veterans beat the odds. They returned home to be with their friends and families once more, a luxury they don't take for granted.

"To my military comrades Happy Veterans Day. Freedom is not free. I'm happy to be an American and God Bless the United States of America. Semper Fi." Jones said.