Veterans Day Celebration at Oakmont's Retirement Community in Santa Clarita

By Ryan Mancini
Signal Staff Writer

Oakmont of Santa Clarita gave an early commemoration to some of its residents and their loved ones with their third annual Veterans Day cel- ebration on Sunday.

Following a flag ceremony and the Pledge of Allegiance, the event be- gan with a recognition of 16 service- men who served during World War II or in the decades after, living or deceased.

“It’s a very special privilege to be able to (honor) our veterans here at Oakmont, especially when you think of those who served in World War II,” said Mary Dembrowski, Oak- mont’s marketing director. “Five or 10 years from now, they may not be around anymore, so it’s just some- thing that’s very close to our hearts.”

Everyone received slices of cake and tea, followed by a musical per- formance by guitarist Michael Quest, which featured songs like “God Bless America,” “I Walk the Line,” “All I Have to Do is Dream” and an acoustic performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Although the celebration was in- tended for veterans connected to Oakmont, Dembrowski said it was open to the public and to veterans in Santa Clarita.

One of the veterans honored was Manuel Pinsky. His wife, resident Louise Pinsky, participated in the celebration to remember her late husband’s service during World War II. She moved into Oakmont follow- ing a neck injury after Pinsky’s death on Nov. 11, 2006, at 11 a.m.

“Well, he was drafted in 1942 and served in the Army,” she said. “He was (private first class), he didn’t aspire to be an officer. He was of- fered promotions but he ended up a corporal.”

Eventually, after working as a cryptographer, Pinsky was sent to Japan following the fall of the atom- ic bomb on Hiroshima. By 1946, he returned home and married Louise.

“That was a good story,” she laughed.

She said Pinsky would be a great- grandfather three times over were he still alive.

Oakmont honored the following veterans

William Auch: U.S. Army, 1950-1953
Len Barber: U.S. Marine Corps, 1943-1946
Samuel Baron: U.S. Army, 1953-1955
Thomas Buckner: U.S. Air Force, 1950-1955
David Charlberg: U.S. Marine Corps, 1946-1948
Gerald Dry: Royal Air Force, 1947-1952
Barney Fotheringham: U.S. Navy, 1943-1946
Miguel Hernandez: U.S. Army 1966-1977
Albert Meek: U.S. Army, 1952-1955
Lawrence Reiche: U.S. Army, 1938-1958
John Straub: U.S. Navy, 1970-1972
Robert Thoren: U.S. Navy, 1943-1946
Erv Thuerk: U.S. Army, 1944-1946
Peter Vricella: U.S. Army, 1943-1946
Carl Wertz: U.S. Army, 1948-1952