SANTEE, Calif. (KGTV) — If you take a stroll down Mast Boulevard in Santee, you'll notice banners lining the street.
It's all part of the City of Santee's Hometown Heroes Banner Program. One of the hometown heroes honored is Gary Strawn.
The Navy veteran has an album filled with memories to remember his time serving our country.
"I was an aeronautical duty officer, which meant I specialized in taking care of the aircraft," said Strawn.
"Specifically, I took care of the aircraft engine. I ran the shops on the Nimitz and other bases where we took care of aircraft engines, different components, and electronics."
His 22 years of service were honored when this banner went up Thursday. He wants the generation of Sailors or service members who walk by his banner to know serving is something to be proud of.
"Well, I'd like them to think I look like that now, but I'm a little older- a little more wrinkled. No, I think it's important for young people who might be considering serving to feel good about that. Be proud. It's a good thing to do and I don't think they'll regret it," said Strawn.
Gary served in the Forgotten War, but his service isn't forgotten.
"I don't ever consider myself a hero. I'm proud of what I did. I'm honored, but I'm also really proud of our little city that is going out of its way to honor all of our veterans. Some of them had a lot more arduous duty than I did," he said.
For him, flipping through the memories of his time it was all about duty honor, and service.
"I felt it was my duty," he said.
Santee veterans can apply for the program here.