Community honors 21 veterans at assisted living home in New Jersey

WOODCLIFF LAKE, New Jersey (WABC) -- A community in New Jersey celebrated Veterans Day by honoring 21 of their residents who served in the military.

Local political leaders joined the staff at The Bristal at Woodcliff Lake Assisted Living on Monday to recognize veterans who range in age from 74 to 95.

Some of the men had just married and left their families to join the service after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor.

They say it's something they would do again.

"It was a rough start to a new life at 19 and go to war," Louis Raspanti said. "It was something you would never trade but you keep it back there in your mind, it helps a lot of times, you have a difficult situation, you fall back on that experience, and it pulls you out of other bad situations."

Veterans Day is a time for all to remember the men and women who showed up and pledged their lives.

"My parents didn't know where I was, they knew the location, but they didn't know what I was doing, it was kept too secret," said Tom Thompson with the Naval Reserve.

Director Michelle Braccino works to make sure every Veterans Day is their day.

"I want to make sure I show them how appreciative we are of what they did. I've lost some and I get teary-eyed because I miss them," she said.

Organizers honor the men every year so they will always know how much they are appreciated.

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