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Korean War Vet Honors Wife on Second Honor Flight

An Endicott man got to take a rare and emotional second honor flight in Washington, D.C. this fall. However, this flight wasn't for him, but for the love of his life.

Korean War Air Force veteran Leo Gonzalez took his first fight as an honored veteran on Father's Day of this year.

His wife, Lois Jeanette Welch-Gonazalez, a 1st lieutenant in the Air Force, was invited to go on her own honor flight this past weekend.

Lois died in August, so Leo took the flight in her place.

"She was military," said Gonzalez. "She served a tour of duty during the Korean War. She didn't go out of the states. She worked herself up from the bottom of the ranks all the way to a First Lieutenant."

59 veterans in total went on the flight.

Leo was the only one from the Southern Tier.

Leo and Lois were married for 59 years before she passed away in August.

He misses her everyday, and on Saturday, pride swelled as he took her final flight.

"When we got off the plane in Washington, all the people were there and they were cheering us on and I said to my daughter, 'I can't. You had to be here.'"

To donate or volunteer for the Honor Flight Network, or if you know a veteran who should apply for a flight, visit honorflight.org.