TIOGA, La. (KALB) - When Air Force veteran Edward Wolf returned from the Korean War in 1953, there was little fanfare.
Korean War veteran Edward Wolf of Tioga was accompanied by his son to D.C. with Honor Flight Louisiana. (Photo by Leland Wolf)
"It was really great to get to come home, walk up the hill and see my puppy dog and my mom," he remembered. "After that, I got on a bus to Biloxi, Mississippi..and when I got off, a mile and three quarters I walked."
There were no handshakes and cheering that day, save a salute from a police officer who told him where to go. However, decades later, it was a different story on Saturday for Wolf's first trip to the nation's Capitol with Honor Flight Louisiana.
"I've smiled and cried. It's meant so much to me. I never realized I'd be honored this way," he said.
Wolf, his son Leland and the group of veterans and honor flight staff spent the day touring the monuments and memorials in D.C. Some of his favorite sights included the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial and Korean War Memorial.
"When I saw the Korean statue (Korean War Memorial) it brought back memories...being with the other guys during the war...it (Wolf's service) made me grow up, that's what it did. It made me realize why I was over there, what I was doing to save lives," he said.
It was the trip of a lifetime filled with many special moments. At Arlington National Cemetery, a line of strangers stopped to thank Wolf for his service. On the ride home, veteran's had 'mail call,' and among Wolf's cards, a letter from his wife Darlene, who nominated him for the honor flight.
The veteran said he's glad to have "served my time and was able to make us free."