VIENNA, Ohio (WKBN) – The Youngstown Air Reserve Station rolls out the red carpet for one of its own, a World War II veteran.
94-year-old Edward Hitesman who is in hospice care, got a special tour of the 910th airlift wing.
The moment Edward Hitesman arrived at the 910th, he became a top priority, even named an honorary citizen airman of the 910th.
The World War II veteran was stationed in the Philippines and flew fighter planes before being transferred to the Army.
“It was a horrible war and no one enjoyed being there, but you had to be,” said Hitesman.
Hiteman’s sons accompanied him for the tour.
“He volunteered, nobody forced him to go in and he wanted to do everything he could, I do know that,” said Jonathan Hitesman.
“Ended up actually walking through Hiroshima after the bomb had been dropped and the war had ended,” added Timothy Hitesman.
For years, Hitesman went where his country told him. Decades later he decided where he wanted to go, returning to his air force roots, touring the 910th.
“It’s a wonder to be here,” said Hitesman.
Escorted into the hanger, saluting his fellow airman and women, Hitesman was back in his glory and on a C-130.
Generations shared the special day with Hitesman who is a two-time cancer survivor. Crossroads Hospice in Green, Ohio, helped arrange Sunday’s tour. It’s Gift of a Day program makes patients’ wishes come true, giving them a ‘perfect day.’
“Everything is important and when you can share and important period of time with a lot of good people who appreciate it, it makes it even better,” said Hitesman.
His sons brought along their dad’s medals, letters of recommendation and a flight map.
Hitesman, who turns 95 in two months, said he’s going to be around until he’s 100. The member of the world’s greatest generation has nothing but love for his country, and wants others to feel the same way.
“There’s no better place to be and living except the United States of America,” finished Hitesman.