A World War II veteran has finally been honored with the medals he deserved after sacrificing his own safety for the well-being of others.
In a ceremony Wednesday at the office of Congressman Lee Terry Jr., Ed Sobczyk stepped into the spotlight.
For the 94-year-old Sobczyk, the medals, the honors came 70 years after the fight.
“Sometimes I get goose pimples thinking about it,” he said. “You're wondering if you’re ever going to forget it but you never do. You just don’t forget it.”
The Army Sergeant received 11 medals Wednesday including the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.
He said, “Actually, I could almost see what he was talking about, like the Battle of the Bulge and stuff, you know? Funny thing that brought to my mind, that was a week before Christmas and I went into mass and the nun gave me a hard time because I was carrying a Tommy gun. She wasn’t going to let me into church.”
Bringing a Tommy gun to church is just one memory of War.
Ed fought in five major battle of World War II, “every one of them practically. Yeah, the Hürtgen Forest, the Battle of the Bulge, Liberation of Paris. Rode into Paris on a half track with a 50 caliber machine gun."
After one battle they actually counted him as dead and he ended up in a cemetery.
“Last I remember I was flying through the air about 10 feet in the air, then I woke up two days later in the cemetery. They reported me as Killed in Action.”
Ed was also involved in a top secret mission, so secret that when he talked about it after the war he found himself in serious trouble.
He said, The FBI grabbed me and threw me in jail. This is when I was bitter. The only way I got out of there after a week or 10 days was saying that... I made up the story.”
Surrounded by his family, Ed relived old battles and even some good times. He plans to return overseas to visit some of the places where he earned so many honors so many years ago. Ed and his family will leave for Normandy on Friday.
Ed says his honors were delayed because the Army lost many of his official records.