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Top veteran will be feted during Mission Viejo's Veteran's Day ceremony

George F. Locke will be honored as Mission Viejo's Veteran of the Year on Friday, November 11 during the City's annual Veterans Day ceremony at 2 p.m. inside the Norman P. Murray Community and Senior Center at 24932 Veterans Way.

George is a longtime Mission Viejo resident who has lived a life of service. It began nearly 70 years ago when he enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserves as a radar operator. After the 1950 North Korean invasion, his unit was activated and George spent the next three years with the First Marine Division in the midst of a "seesaw" war until the ceasefire in 1953. Because of his service to our country, George received several awards including the United Nations Korean Medal, Korean Service Ribbon with 4 stars and others.

His service to our community runs just as deep. For seven years, George served as the president of the Marines at Casta del Sol where he led the expansion of the club membership to all branches of the military. He has also been an active member of the City's Marine and Sailors Adoption Committee since its inception nine years ago.  George has participated in numerous fundraisers like car washes and the annual Tee It Up Fore Marines tournament to raise thousands to benefit our Marines and their families. If that were not enough, George raised money for the Saddleback College Veterans Memorial, which was dedicated in 2010. Right now, this spry 85-year-old veteran serves as a technical advisor to oral historian Kaaron Carver on the "Korean War History Project" in Mission Viejo.

George, who retired from the aerospace industry after 40 years, has lived in Mission Viejo for more than three decades. He is a proud father and grandfather.

George will be recognized with local veterans during the public ceremony, which will include a color guard, rifle salute and taps. Colonel Carlos O. Urbina, commanding officer of the Headquarters Battalion of the 1st Marine Division, and retired Marine Captain Pete Seitz will address the crowd. The event will also feature Dawn Wright, the "voice" of the Anaheim Ducks.

A dessert reception will follow the ceremony, and guests will have the chance to mingle with folks from the City's Marine Adoption Committee, Orange County Veterans and Military Families Collaborative, Patriots and Paws and Working Wardrobes- Vet Net Program. Oxford Preparatory Academy of Mission Viejo will lead kids in creating thank-you cards for members of our military.

For more information, call 949-470-3061.

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