The Republican Women of The Villages played host to a special guest who made quite a splash on national television earlier this month.
World War II veteran Irving Locker, who was honored by President Trump during his recent State of the Union address, and his wife of 70 years, Bernice, were the guests of honor at the organization’s recent Valentine’s Brunch.
Locker, who served as a staff sergeant in the Army and oversaw four 90mm guns that were used to take out aircraft, tanks and artillery, was one of three WW II veterans singled out by the president for serving in the D-Day invasion. He also fought in the Battle of the Bulge, helped liberate the Gardelegen concentration camp and was in the march along the Elbe River near Berlin.
Locker, who was sitting near first lady Melania Trump, made quite a splash during the address because when his name was called, he jumped out of his seat and gave the thumbs-up sign. Bernice was watching the event from the nearby Eisenhower Executive Building with other family members of the veterans and those being honored by the president. And even though wasn’t in the gallery area with her husband, she said the experience was quite wonderful.
In honor of that special occasion, the Republican Women of The Villages presented the Lockers with the Official 2018 White House Christmas Ornament, which honors President Truman and illustrates changes made by him to the presidential seal and the White House.
“Irving had told me that after Germany surrendered in 1945, they were told they would be sent to Japan to continue the fight,” said Marina Woolcock, president of the Republican Women of The Villages. “A million of our soldiers were expected to die in the invasion of Japan. He and all his fellow soldiers, after the battles in Europe, knew very well they could have been one of those numbers. He and a million others were spared because President Truman ordered dropping of the bombs, which ended the war and sent them home,” Woolcock said, adding that the Lockers, of the Village of El Santiago, were thrilled to receive the special ornament.