SANTA MARIA, Calif. -

Hundreds showed up to the American Veterans United Inc. welcome home ceremony and barbecue in Santa Maria.

The fundraiser was to honor local heroes.

Seoany De Leon and her uncle Pedro Torres were attending. Torres, a marine veteran who served in Korea and Vietnam said the ceremony is special to him.

The ceremony was held to honor the veterans who have returned  from Iraq and Afghanistan, but Torres said it’s also for all veterans to feel loved and appreciated.

Among those attending and speaking at the ceremony were Santa Maria city Mayor Alice Patino, 24th District Congresswoman Lois Capps, 5th district Supervisor Steve Lavagnino, 35th district Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian and 19th district Representative Joyce Howerton speaking for Senator Hannah Beth Jackson.