LOCKPORT (WKBW) A special gift, unloaded in the afternoon rain in Lockport, for a very special veteran.
91 year old Edward Kolek was a bomber pilot during World War Two, flying in 36 successful missions and being awarded the flying cross.
"Every mission I was prepared to be shot down, therefore I was prepared psychologically about being shot down, and if I wasn't shot down, that was an easy mission," Kolek said.
In his age, Kolek's health is diminishing and so is his mobility. So the VetsHERD organization stepped in to donate a powered wheelchair.
"It's a great day. All veterans should be honored today, World War Two to the current conflicts. But it is especially an honor to come up here and hear the stories of World War Two and it was just a pleasure. It's like christmas," VetsHERD President Philip Arnold said.
"I'm very proud to have my father receive this, especially on Veterans Day, because it was quite an honor for him to serve our country and he's very proud of that. And I'm very proud of my father," Kolek's daughter Loretta said.
"Veterans Day to most veterans is a special day, and it is to me. And to get something like this is going to make it easier for me as each year goes by," Kolek added.
The retired Lieutenant Colonel, still wearing a flight jacket and his hat that he completed all those 36 missions with, says he was required to go on 35 missions. he chose to go on an extra one because every pilot that completed a mission was given a double shot of rye whiskey. Laughing, he said that might have had something to do with it.