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July 2, 2013 > Michael 'Mickey' Ganitch

Michael 'Mickey' Ganitch

Submitted By Sergio Reyes

Senate Majority Leader Ellen M. Corbett (D-East Bay) has named San Leandro resident Michael "Mickey" Ganitch as the 2013 10th Senate District "Veteran of the Year."

A 93-year-old Pearl Harbor survivor, Ganitch was responsible for reporting the position of enemy planes during the Japanese attack on December 7, 1941. Ganitch courageously served on the USS Pennsylvania which was bombed and suffered multiple casualties, including the loss of more than 20 crew members.

A few years later, Ganitch was aboard the USS Pennsylvania at Okinawa which was torpedoed on August 12, 1945 with the loss of 26 men. The ship was towed to shallow water the next morning to avoid sinking. That same morning, the Japanese asked for peace.

"Mickey Ganitch embodies the essence and spirit of a patriot," Corbett said. "Ever since fighting bravely to defend our freedoms during World War II and surviving the attacks at Pearl Harbor and Okinawa, he has continued to distinguish himself in the East Bay as an active community leader and local citizen. Even in his 90s, Mr. Ganitch continues to advocate tirelessly on behalf of active military service members, veterans and their families and honors daily the sacrifices endured by those who died in battle. I am proud to name Mickey Ganitch as the 2013 10th Senate District 'Veteran of the Year.'"

Ganitch remains active in many community organizations, including Pearl Harbor Survivors, Disabled American Veterans, Fleet Reserve Association, Veterans of Foreign Wars, as well as helping transport veterans to their medical appointments and serving as head usher at his church for almost 50 years.

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