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SCV to honor local veterans

Posted: July 8, 2016 10:16 a.m.
Updated: July 8, 2016 10:16 a.m.
Robert Gasior Robert Gasior
Robert Gasior
Victor Rosen Victor Rosen
Victor Rosen
Fausto Galvan Fausto Galvan
Fausto Galvan
Robert Good Robert Good
Robert Good
Tom Dierckman Tom Dierckman
Tom Dierckman
Kevin Duxbury Kevin Duxbury
Kevin Duxbury
James McCarthy James McCarthy
James McCarthy
Steve Widdison Steve Widdison
Steve Widdison
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The sixth annual Santa Clarita Valley Patriots Luncheon will honor veterans Wednesday. Local organizations, businesses and individuals nominate veterans with ties to the Santa Clarita Valley for recognition. A volunteer committee made up of representatives from the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce and veterans organizations selects the honorees from the nominations. The luncheon will take place Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. at Hyatt Regency Valencia. Tickets are available at scvchamber.com or 661-702-6977.


These are the honorees this year:

 

Robert Gasior
Robert Gasior was born in Bayonne, New Jersey, on Sept. 11, 1968, and enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps at the age of 17 immediately upon graduating high school. Soon after training he was promoted to corporal and transferred to Camp Pendleton serving with the 7th Marine Regiment. As an infantry squad leader, Gasior’s unit was one of the first in the nation deployed to Saudi Arabia (August 1990) as part of Operation Desert Shield after Iraqi forces invaded Kuwait.
Gasior left the Marine Corps and joined the Los Angeles Police Department, but he rejoined the Marines in 1999 and ultimately his unit helped liberate Baghdad. Following his Marine Corps service he returned to LAPD and currently serves as a sergeant. Gasior, his wife and three children have lived in the Santa Clarita Valley for 24 years.

 

 

Victor Rosen
Victor Rosen was born Sept. 8, 1924 in Germantown, Illinois, graduating from high school in 1943. He was drafted into the U.S. Army at age 19 on Nov. 24, 1943. Rosen was a private and was part of the 4th Infantry Division that assaulted Utah Beach on D-Day June 6, 1944. On Aug. 8, 1944, after 63 days of nonstop battles, Rosen was shot nine times while advancing toward the enemy. The Army medics saved his life.

 

After an honorable discharge in April 1945, Rosen and his wife, Betty, went into the laundromat business, and at age 83 he retired. Rosen and his wife have three daughters and five grandchildren and have been married 67 years; they’ve lived in Santa Clarita 49 years.

 

 

Fausto Galvan
Fausto Galvan was born Sept. 6, 1950 in San Fernando, graduating from high school in June 1969. Since Galvan, at age 17, had enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1968 on its “Delayed Entry Program,” he entered boot camp at Camp Pendleton right out of high school in August 1969. After completing training, Galvan was sent to Vietnam and was assigned to the 1st Marine Division.

 

Galvan earned a Bronze Star and Purple Heart during an ambush when he saved members of his squad. After the Marine Corps, Galvan became a truck driver, got married and has two daughters. His days are filled with the Young Marines of Santa Clarita; Vietnam Veterans of America, Santa Clarita; the Marine Corps League; and Veterans of Foreign Wars. He is also co-commander of the Color/Honor Guard.


 

Robert Good
Robert Good was born April 16, 1946 and grew up in Sun Valley, graduating from John H. Francis Polytechnic High School in 1964 and attending Arizona State for a while. Good was drafted on May 17, 1966, along with numerous other local young men as the 9th Infantry Division reactivated for combat in Vietnam. Good and several of his squad members were involved in a major battle in the Mekong Delta on June 19, 1967, which is chronicled in National Geographic’s documentary “Brothers in War.”

 

Good earned a Combat Infantryman Badge, Bronze Star for Valor and Army Commendation Medal for Valor before leaving the U.S. Army in May 1968. He soon joined the Los Angeles Police Department, achieving the rank of Sergeant 2+3, Assistant Watch Commander/Helicopter Pilot, Air Division, until retiring after 32 years of service. Good has resided in Santa Clarita for 45 years; he’s married and has three children and six grandchildren.


 

Tom Dierckman
Tom Dierckman was born in Batesville, Indiana. He graduated from Shelbyville High School in 1966 with an ROTC scholarship and earned a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. In 1971, Dierckman commissioned as an ensign in the Navy, entered the Civil Engineer Corps (Seabees) and trained in Port Hueneme. Eleven years of active duty included three years in Yokosuka, Japan, in support of the Vietnam conflict. He deployed to Okinawa with Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 3, keeping watch on the Korean peninsula. He served at the Naval Construction Battalion Center Augment in Port Hueneme and, subsequently, the First Naval Construction Regiment in preparation for Desert Storm. Dierckman resigned his commission in 1982 but remained in the Reserves for 17 years, retiring at the rank of captain.

 

Following 22 years as a senior executive at Newhall Land, Dierckman is a development consultant and was adviser to former Congressman “Buck” McKeon on nominations to military academies. He is active with numerous philanthropic organizations. Dierckman and wife, Sandy, have two sons and two grandchildren.

 

Kevin Duxbury
Kevin Duxbury moved to Santa Clarita at the age of 7. At 23, after earning degrees from Antelope Valley College and Cal State Los Angeles, Duxbury enlisted in the Army. His first stint was with the 11 Charlie Infantry Mortar Platoon. He was stationed with the 25th Infantry in Schofield, Hawaii, for two years as an infantry soldier and deployed to Haiti. After Hawaii, he was sent to Fort Hood for three years and promoted to sergeant. At Fort McClellan, he trained for and joined the military police and was sent to Germany. He was deployed to Bosnia, Albania (during the Serbian airstrikes) and Kosovo.

Back in Santa Clarita, he joined the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the Army Reserve. Following 9/11, he re-enlisted, was promoted to staff sergeant and deployed to Iraq in February 2003. He completed service in December 2005. Duxbury has 15 years with the Sheriff’s Department, the past 10 in Santa Clarita. He is part of Vets4Vets, is active with a military support group at his church and is a member of the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association. Duxbury is father to a son, daughter and stepdaughter.

 

James McCarthy
James McCarthy, a cowboy from the start, was born in Laramie, Wyoming. He graduated from Royal High School in Simi Valley in 1970 and attended Moorpark College. At 20, he enlisted in the Air Force and trained at Keesler Air Force Base as an electronic warfare systems specialist. His first posting was with the Strategic Air Command at March Air Force Base, where he reconfigured electronic systems on aircraft retuning from Southeast Asia. After cross-training to Security Service, he was re- assigned to a security squadron in Thailand and Korea, working with aircraft that played a role in defending South Korea against invasion. He is one of a select group of veterans recognized in the book “Korea Reborn, A Grateful Nation.” Following his discharge, he attended Cal Poly Pomona’s School of Agriculture, earning his degree in park administration.

McCarthy has worked for Los Angeles County’s Department of Parks & Recreation for 21 years. He has helped establish thousands of acres of open space in and around the Santa Clarita Valley. His numerous civic and philanthropic activities include the Santa Clarita Fourth of July Parade, Friends of Hart Park, the SCV Sheriff’s Boosters and Habitat for Humanity. He is married to Santa Clarita Councilwoman Laurene Weste.

 

Steve Widdison
Steve Widdison was born in Utah in 1949. He enlisted in the Army at the age of 17 and was trained in helicopter mechanics. After being sent to Vietnam, he began flying as a door gunner on Huey gunships. He joined “The War Wagons,” a “hunter/killer” team on search and destroy combat missions. Helicopters often were called upon to act as bait to draw the enemy out of defensive positions. During his second tour, he was shot down, ending up under water in the helicopter. While being flown to safety (he and his pilot hanging from landing skids, 100 feet above the rice paddy), more shots were fired. The rescue pilot abruptly turned the aircraft and Widdison was thrown off. He suffered multiple traumatic injuries. He was awarded two Bronze Stars with oak leaf clusters, the Purple Heart, air medals, a Vietnamese Silver Star and Bronze Star attachment. He attained the rank of E-6.

Though Widdison is 100 percent disabled, he worked for himself for a number of years. He and wife, Georgie, have three sons and three grandchildren. He enjoys music, the beach and short evening walks with his wife.

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