WAYMART—Edmund Solosky celebrated his 100th Birthday surrounded by friends and family at Wayne Woodlands Manor on Monday.
Solosky was born June 19, 1917 in Taylor, Pennsylvania.
He served in the Army for six years as a First Lieutenant, ultimately achieving the rank of Captain.
He was drafted the day before his 23rd birthday and was assigned guard duty in Washington D.C. after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
He explained, “I was started at the gasworks for about six months of freezing weather and from there I went to the 14th Street Bridge. That was a big deal.
“And from there I went to where they made the money and from there I went to where they spent the money.”
After his stint in D.C., Solosky said he was transferred to Ireland and then on to England.
While there, Solosky witnessed a plane crash and swiftly jumped to pull the occupants from harm.
After pulling the third passenger from the plane, Solosky said “I was starting to get second thoughts, but I didn't quit. I pulled them all out.”
For his selfless bravery, Solosky was awarded the Medal of Valor.
After England, he returned to the United States where he stood guard over the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier for about a year and a half.
In recounting his time at the tomb, he stated, “I enjoyed walking the unknown soldier's tomb. I felt privileged. The company commander kept making comments about the 'fine soldier who was walking the guard.'”
He then added with tearful reverence, “And it used to touch me to think that I could have such an honor. But I walked that guard at night just as faithfully as I did in the daytime. I was privileged to do that.”
For his proficiency serving at the tomb, Solosky was then stationed to guard the White House.
While there, his expertise was again recognized and he was recommended to attend Officer Candidate School.
In summing up his army career, Solosky said, “I got drafted, I was discharged a Captain, and I never shot anybody, I never killed anybody and I came out with a medal for valor.”
Solosky later worked for Traine Air Conditioner/Heating Company.
He was married for 66 years and had three children who have in turn graced his life with grandchildren.
His son Edmund Solosky, Jr. and his daughter Linda Grimes were present at his party on Monday.
Also there were close friends Rodger Seliga, John and Henrietta Ostroski, Marie Gorgol, and Bishop John Swantek of the Polish National Catholic Church.
Woodlands residents and nurses also shared in Solosky's milestone achievement.
As an added treat, Bill Varga and Specialist Bill Giordano - Masons from the Waymart Lodge #542 – presented the guest of honor with a veteran's pin and ink pen in commemoration of his service.
Solosky said that his secret to longevity is “Do not think about it, because before you know it, you're old.”
His personal philosophy states “Every man should try to be the top in anything [he does]: army work, husband, family, guard. You do not always succeed. Sometimes I did not, but I always tried.”