During Veterans Day, some who served recall secret missions into Cambodia, bloodshed and destruction.
That is just some of the horrific and confidential experiences certain veterans of the Vietnam War endured. The military told them they were not allowed to discuss it with anyone.
Author Eric Blehm of Cardiff is sharing those stories for the first time in his book, Legends.
"What better way to honor these guys than to tell their stories?" Blehm said on Veterans Day. "A lot of them just haven't spoken about it."
Like Alan Yurman, a army veteran helicopter pilot, sworn to secrecy by the military for decades.
"The Green Berets were going into Cambodia because there were reports the Russians were supplying the North Vietnamese with trucks," said Yurman in Del Mar. "We weren't supposed to be there, so we had to keep it a secret. I didn't talk about it for 45 years."
Yurman recalls a time when he was injured during combat.
"We started taking rounds through the glass on the bottom of the helicopter. The plexiglass broke. I heard the bullet go whizzing by my head. A piece of plexiglass went into my thigh," said Yurman. "On the way back, I pulled the plexiglass out."
Yurman received a Purple Heart for his service.
"There's a stigma about Vietnam veterans that all of them are broken, and they're not," said Blehm. "For many years, they couldn't go out publically. They're proud of their service. They're proud to be Vietnam veterans."
If you would like to honor veterans, please come to our NBC 7 Salute to Service event Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Midway in San Diego.