2017 Nominees Section
Position: 1st Class Petty Officer
Organization: Former US Navy
What role does your nominee have in senior care and senior care issues?
Leon was born in 1923 in Amarillo, TX, but his family moved to the L.A. area in 1928. He graduated from high school in 1941 and got married right before he went into the service in 1942, joining the Navy as a welder and ship repairman, achieving the rank of 1st Class Petty Officer. Before he left the Navy, he was awarded a Presidential Citation for his service.
Why should this person be nominated
Leon has lived a very full life for 94 years! He's survived many attacks in the South Pacific as a crewman aboard the USS Anzio, supporting battles in the Marshall Islands, Gilbert Island, Saipan, Okinawa and many others. He even survived the 1944 Cobra or "Halsey's" Typhoon, with 100 mph winds, very high seas and torrential rain. Three destroyers capsized and sank, and 790 lives were lost. Nine other warships were damaged, and over 100 aircraft were wrecked or washed overboard. Leon and the Anzio barely survived being capsized, and the ship limped into a bay for repairs afterward. Leon was up for many hours, along with his fellow shipmates, trying to repair not just the ship, but the many planes that were on the upper and lower decks. Leon helped to keep the Anzio repaired and in play in the Pacific arena throughout the war, becoming part of its historic award of 11 Battle Stars.
We often think of our veterans as men and women who took up arms and fought on the battle fields, but Leon was as big a part of our success in the battles in the Pacific as any soldier with a gun. Without him and his shipmates, the planes and support crews needed for the battles wouldn't have been able to be effective.
Leon went on to have two sons, teach shop at high school, sell heavy trucks and trailers for International Harvester and enjoy life in a country he helped keep free.
We are so grateful for your service, Leon.