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Servicemen honor the fallen on Veterans Day

Vets say military personnel should be honored, no matter where or when they served
By: Joyia Emard, Loomis News Staff Writer
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Today is Veterans Day, a federal holiday set aside to remember and honor military veterans. Tom Seth, of Loomis, is a veteran who served in Europe during the time of the Korean War. He said it was “the luck of the draw” that during the early 1950s he was sent to serve in post-World War II Germany, instead of to fight in Korea. Seth, 77, said he feels it is his duty to represent the men who lost their lives in that war. “Someone has to stand up and represent those who didn’t come back and those who had worse conditions than I did,” Seth said. Seth is a member of Loomis American Legion Post 775 and said the group defines a veteran as one who served in the military during a time of war, whether or not that person saw combat. On Veterans Day, Seth said he wants people to remember “freedom is not free.” “We don’t get the freedoms we have for nothing. Some one has to be the guardian of freedom – to stand up and represent freedom,” Seth said. “All of the soldiers in the Army, Marines, Air Force and Navy who’ve had to go into combat – they are the guardians of this country. We need to recognize that they made the ultimate sacrifices.” Loomis resident Howard Duck is another veteran. Duck, 46, has been in the Marine Reserves for 26 years and is a Master Gunnery Sergeant. His field is logistics, which involves the moving of people, supplies and equipment. Duck said he sees Veterans Day as a time to honor veterans, regardless of where they served and when. During Desert Shield/Desert Storm in 1990 and 1991, Duck said he was activated to serve in a combat service support group in Saudi Arabia and then Kuwait. He said in Kuwait his unit took a small group of Iraqi military stragglers as enlisted prisoners of war. During Operation Enduring Freedom in 2005, he served in DjiboDuring Operation Enduring Freedom in 2005, he served in Djibouti, Africa at an anti-terrorism base. Duck’s wife, Lisa, said Howard has twice had to leave her and their children Jacob, 12, Alexandra, 5, and Johnny, 2, when he’s been deployed. She said it’s important to also remember the families of veterans. "The families have had to make sacrifices. The kids give up their dads. Wives have to suck it up and be both mom and dad," said Lisa Jacobs-Duck. uti, Africa at an anti-terrorism base. When he has not been deployed, Duck works as an information security risk manager for School Financial Credit Union. He said the company has been very supportive of his military career. Duck also has served in honor guards for a number of military funerals. “The honor guard serves to pay final respects to fallen Marines,” Duck said. Duck said he is a history buff and is especially interested in World War II and the Marine’s involvement in the Pacific Theater. Over the years, he said, he’s had the opportunity to meet veterans who served during that period. "I’m in awe of these people. They are an inspiration," Duck said. Duck said around Veterans Day he likes to focus on a World War II book or movie as a way to honor veterans and remember their sacrifices. Seth said the most important way people can honor veterans is to not forget. “Just remember them. It’s a way to keep them alive,” Seth said.