Leo A. Laukka was presented with the Sabre as the Union Senior Veteran by resident and founder Greg Grotton Oct. 7.

Laukka enlisted in the Navy in 1945 during World War II. He was a Machinist Mate, third class, on the USS Capricornus (AKA-57), which carried cargo and provided support in the Pacific Ocean. He made four trips across the Pacific Ocean to China, Japan, including Okinawa, the Philippines and Guam delivering cargo and performing evacuations of U.S. Marines and diplomatic personnel and their families.

Laukka was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., to Finnish immigrants. The family relocated to Harlem, N.Y. where his parents owned a Finnish restaurant, and then to Flushing Meadow, N.Y. In 1942 the Laukkas moved to Warren, where they purchased a chicken farm. In 1958, Laukka bought a 100-acre parcel of land in Union on Crawford Pond. He first built his sauna and camp, then later a home here.

He enjoys maintaining his land and observing the deer, turkeys, eagles, loons, foxes and other “wildlife neighbors” with whom he shares his fields, woods and lakefront.

Past recipients of this honor include Raymond Dinsmore and Paul Doherty.