Sometimes a simple phrase is all a veteran needs to hear. 

"You know, we just like to hear thank you," said veteran Wayne Brown. 

Brown served in the Air force. 

"Chattanooga does a really good job of telling their veterans thank you and not just telling them thank you but actually providing services and helping them," Brown told Channel 3. 

That's exactly what organizers of this inaugural Veteran's Appreciation Event aimed to do.

"I figured that I could actually get everything together and make a difference and hopefully it did today," said event organizer Jacqueline Carimon.

Hundreds came to the Chattanooga Convention Center to hear about benefits, treatment options, and how to cope with PTSD when they come home.

"A lot of great vendors, a lot of great support, a lot of benefit services that were here. I'm excited and they were happy so as long as they were happy I'm happy," Carimon said. 

Dozens of groups came to help. That help-- took the form of ice cream, free haircuts, and therapy sessions. They all shared the same goal-- to serve veterans in Chattanooga.

"There's some tables in there that would let these veterans know, let the spouses know that they're not out there by themselves alone," said veteran Mark Dunham.

Veterans today say there's someone else who needs to hear a thank you, too.

"The spouses, see because the spouses are the backbone to the veteran," Dunham told Channel 3. 

In addition to caring for the ones who risked it all, the event assisted their family members as well.

"We want the veterans and their families to know how much we really appreciate the sacrifice they've made," said Brown. 

The event served as a reminder that freedom isn't free and that Chattanooga is thankful for its veterans.

Organizers say the event was a success and Veteran's Appreciation Day will be back again next year.