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Angels In Our Midst

Angels In Our Midst

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Angels In Our Midst (Ed and Emma Howenstein)

Updated: Tuesday, March 19 2013, 11:01 AM CDT
PENSACOLA NAS - On this Memorial Day, we also continue to observe Military Appreciation Month.

Along the Gulf Coast, we are blessed with many veterans who continue their same selfless service long after their last tour of duty.

One veteran and his wife of 64 years are an example of that kind of service.

"Good morning."

"You think, 'boy, I haven't wasted my day. I've been doing something constructive.'"

"We've been here ten years now."

Eighty-five-year-old Emma Howenstein is one of the volunteer voices greeting callers, patients and visitors at Naval Hospital Pensacola. Her 91-year-old husband Ed volunteers too.

"Well, the only thing I do is transport patients."

Modestly stated, like a true servant. Ed is a World War II veteran, and serving here rekindles his pride of serving then.

"I was in the old Army Air Corps, and I was a pilot. I flew transport planes."

He also trained incoming pilots.

"And hooked the plane up to a glider. We'd pull the glider up a couple thousand feet and turn him loose, you know, cut him loose."

And has incredible stories that he sometimes gets to share as he walks these hallways.

"It's a great memory to me to have done what I did in the military."

"I look back on it with much pride."

"That's all I hear from him, my husband, is about the military and what he did back in flying these planes...and where he parked."

These days, Mr. Ed is still transporting precious cargo. He maneuvers the grounds quite well, despite having a couple of years on most of his charges.

"That never dawns on me. It really never does. I don't even think about it. I just think about, I'm able to do it and I feel good doing it and it makes me happy to be able to do it."

And for as long as they're able, Ed and Emma plan to continue serving their community and their country with pride.

"I get just about as much out of it as I'm giving. I feel proud that I'm able to do this."

"It makes you feel good when you go home. And you think, 'geez, I can walk out of here all by myself; I don't have somebody pushing me out.'"Angels In Our Midst (Ed and Emma Howenstein)

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Washington Times