The Union Democrat


On Veterans Day, we thank those who fought for our freedoms


H e's 99 years old, he'll be 100 in July, he's a D-day survivor who flew 30 B-24 and B-17 bomber missions, and he's the most-decorated surviving member of the Eighth Army Air Force credited with helping defeat Hitler and Nazi Germany …

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A l Cepeda, a Sonora resident and former owner of Servente's Saloon, celebrated his 21st birthday inside of a foxhole in Vietnam.

And despite some close calls and experience­s of terrible carnage, Cepeda said he was lucky to have survived …

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A love for music is intertwine­d into the DNA of former Army Corporal Robbie Kravan, of Ponderosa Hills. Music serves as a comfort, a touchstone, a lifesaver and a stress reliever, through all of life's changes.

“I've been into music since birth …

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P aul M. Osborn, 79, is well known in some circles in Columbia, Jamestown, and Chinese Camp for his volunteer work with local fire department­s and with the once-thriving business of making movies and television shows in Tuolumne County.

What some people don't know …

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E ugene “Gino” Mangaoang, 71, of the Tuolumne Band of Me-wuk Indians, served on a U.S. Navy destroyer escort armed with anti-submarine missiles during the Vietnam War from late 1969 to early 1972.

Mangaoang emphasized …

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K ristopher Albrecht's 22-year journey in the United States Coast Guard begins and ends in Tuolumne County. Albrecht, 44, of Twain Harte, retired in June 2020 as an avionics electrical technician first class …

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