A Connecticut veteran, who served in both the Marines and the United States Air Force, is being featured as a Hometown Hero.
Nicole Lojkuc said she knows her dad is a hero.
“I nominated my dad because he's not the type to brag about what he does and he puts everyone first,” Nicole Lojkuc said. "And he deserves some recognition, and this was the best way I could think to do it.”
While he may not call himself one, the memories Henry Lojkuc surrounds himself with tell a different story.
“That's my embassy ID card from Iran,” Henry Lojkuc said. “You're never gonna see that anywhere.”
Henry Lojkuc said his military career has taken him many places such as Qatar, Afghanistan and Austria
“I met my wife in Vienna through another Marine and we've been married now going on 35 years,” Henry Lojkuc said.
Henry Lojkuc said possibly his most harrowing mission was while he was a Marine in Iran.
“Actually I was assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, Iran and during the revolution period when it was overthrown, so I was one of 19 marines defending the embassy when we got taken over on Feb. 14, 1979,” Henry Lojkuc said.
It was the first attempt by terrorists to take over the embassy.
“We had a whole bunch of terrorists coming through embassy walls shooting all sorts of automatic weapons and there were 19 of us trying to defend the place,” Henry Lojkuc said. “The embassy got taken over and we were taken hostage for a number of time.”
During the siege, Henry Lojkuc said he did something very courageous. He slipped away from his captors to secure three remaining American flags that were in the embassy.
“I managed to get a gas mask on and get into the building,” Henry Lojkuc said. “I knew exactly where everything was.”
Henry Lojkuc said he “didn't want the trash being placed on the American flag.”
“It being trampled on and that's just what I felt,” Henry Lojkuc said.
Henry Lojkuc said he still has one of them.
After Iran, Henry Lojkuc served in Austria where he met his wife. They later married and he was discharged from the Marines.
He and his wife had a daughter. Henry Lojkuc spent more than 20 years with the Department of Correction.
But, the call to serve his country never went away, so he joined the United States Air Force Reserve. He was deployed four times to the Middle East post 9-11.
“The first deployment was in Qatar in 2002. Then there was another deployment back in 2004. There was another deployment back in 2008 to Afghanistan,” Henry Lojkuc said. “The final deployment was in 2010 to Iraq.”
He retired back in 2013. But, back home, Henry Lojkuc still reminiscences about his service. Like many servicemen and women, he doesn't think he's a hero.
“I did my job that's all we ever did. It's not me,” Henry Lojkuc said. “It’s about everybody going together and doing what needs to be done, and coming home safe.”
To nominate a Hometown Hero, click here.
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