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Vietnam Veterans Homecoming set for Saturday

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- More than 60,000 tickets have already been handed out to the public for Saturday's Vietnam Veterans Homecoming Celebration at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.

“It’s about time,“ says (Ret.) Air Force Col. Quincy Collins of Concord. Collins was a prisoner of war and cellmate with U.S. Senator John McCain in North Vietnam.

“It’s time America got off their lazy you-know-what and put out their hand and say 'thank you' Not only for them but for every man, woman who puts on a uniform and serves this country,” said Collins, who will emcee parts of the day-long homecoming.

The event will be broadcast live across the state, including on FOX8 starting at 3 p.m.

Ron Faggart with the North Carolina Patriot Guard said his group, along with Rolling Thunder, will help escort veterans in with a welcome home parade.

“This thing has grown beyond our wildest hopes,” Faggart said.

The event will feature live entertainment, including The Charlie Daniels Band, George Clinton and The Oak Ridge Boys.The traveling Vietnam Veterans Memorial is also on display.

More than 58,000 U.S. soldiers were killed in Vietnam, including 1,600 from North Carolina.

Gates open at 9 am Saturday. For more on the day of events, go to the Charlotte Motor Speedway website.