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Lehigh Valley

A Marine goes home; Ed Hunsberger passes away

VIDEO: Ed Hunsberger, a Lehigh Valley...

MACUNGIE, Pa. - Ed Hunsberger was a simple man who lived a simple life.

Well, that's how he'd describe it despite the fact that in his house he was surrounded by dusty medals for acts of valor that each deserve their own story.

But this story is just about Eddie, the man.

"Just an amazing guy. What a hero."

That's how Tony Pearson, President of PPL Vets, describes Eddie.

Tony met Eddie a few years ago. He works with PPL to help vets take bus tours of the monuments put up in their honor in Washington D.C.

He and Eddie hit it off, not just as fellow Marines, but as friends.

Tony was the one who found out Eddie was ready to go back to Iwo Jima.

"He wasn't telling us because he wanted to make a big deal out of it. He was telling us, just in kind of conversation, saying it. That was when we brought it to the attention of our local community…social media….and it really wasn't taking off quite like we wanted it too," Tony says.

"So we brought it to WFMZ and you just took it and ran with it. Very thankful," he says, nodding his head.

69 News is thankful, too, because our viewers were also heroes in this story.

Donations from the Nam Knights, from Eyer Middle Schoolers, and individual gifts pushed him to the goal and on the 72nd anniversary trip, he went back.

He stood on the beach and remarked that it looked greener now, than when he was there at the tender age of 17.

He saluted the American flag at the top of Mount Suribachi.

He came home a few days after that, and we had plans to sit down with him and hear all about it.

We never got that chance.

Eddie passed away from complications of a stroke, three weeks after he returned home.

But his family says he wanted his community to know how thankful he was and how much that trip meant to an old Marine.

"We have so many heroes in our viewing area - everywhere, there's heroes everywhere -  and it was so great that we got to learn about Ed. He's right here. Here's our hero. Lehigh Valley," Tony says, proudly.

Eddie was one of the few, the proud...our Marine.

Eddie's family plans to hold a private funeral and burial service.

 


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