Updated: 4:08 p.m. | Posted: 3:06 p.m.
More than 200 hundred veterans and friends and family gathered Saturday morning for the state's annual Veteran's Day Celebration in Inver Grove Heights.
During the ceremony, members of Minnesota's Congressional delegation thanked veterans for their service and sacrifice.
Democratic Congressman Tim Walz, a veteran of 24 years in the National Guard, told the crowd there are many ways to thank veterans.
"And I always think on Veterans Day, as any day, that if you really, really want to honor a veteran, live our lives with the same sense of selfless service that they serve by," said Walz. "Live our lives with the same sense of camaraderie. Live our lives like this room feels."
Speakers, including Veterans Affairs Commissioner Larry Shellito also encouraged veterans to tell their stories, especially if they served in Vietnam.
"Veterans first of all, you have to tell your stories," said Shellito, who is a Vietnam veteran. He also urged families and friends to ask. "But if you do ask, please stop and listen. They have stories to tell."
At the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation it's one of Don Elverd's focuses. He's a senior psychologist and a Vietnam vet who works with a lot of veterans. He said they have often had extreme experiences that are difficult to share.
"And sometimes it's something they did. Sometimes it's something they didn't do," he said. "But more often than not it's something they saw that disturbs them."
Elverd said some veterans are overtaken by the demons of their experience. He said there is a power in telling the stories. He tells therapists to ask questions, but let the veteran take the lead.
"You know, what was your service like? What was your job? Where did you train? What was it like for you being there? Show an interest."
This week Elverd will lead a special Veterans and active military retreat at Hazelden Betty Ford's facility in Center City.