Thursday, March 19, 2009

Ed Wojciak named Post #164 2008 Veteran of the Year


The Polish Legion of American Veterans, Lt. Col. Matt Urban Post #164, Warren, Ohio recently honored Edwin S. Zelek, as the 2008 Veteran of the Year.

Ed enlisted in the U. S. Navy in 1944, and was sent to the Great Lakes Naval Training Station in Illinois. After completing his training at the Cooks and Bakers School, he was transferred to Little Creek Amphibious Naval Base in Virginia, where he underwent more schooling and training. Upon completion Ed was transferred to the Brown Shipyard

in Galveston, Texas, where he was assigned to ship CSM (R) 517 with seven officers and ninety enlisted men.

After working some of the ship's kinks out cruising in Galveston Bay in the Gul f of Mexico, they reported to ass- ignment with the Seventh Fleet. The war ended, and Ed fulfilled the point’s requirement of the Ship's Gook class- ification, and received his honorable discharge in July, 1946.

After his discharge Ed moved to Cleveland, Ohio, and while attending Fenn College, he and his brother John started the Venetian Blind business in his garage in Garfield Heights. As the business continued to expand, they moved to Broadway Avenue in Garfield Heights, and eventually to Woodland Avenue in downtown Cleveland.

Upon joining the Ernie Pyle Post Ed became very actively interested, and was elected a delegate to Krakusy Post 87. He was elected State Financial Secretary, and then was re- elected to a second term in 1949. After his marriage in 1950 Ed and his wife wanted to raise a family, and this led to his resignation in the middle of 1951.

After leaving Ohio for approximately twenty-five years, Ed returned and joined our Warren Post 164. Being a very act- ive member he was elected Junior Vice-Commander and VAVS Officer for Post 164.

Ed reorganized the Welfare Fund and persuaded the major supermarkets in our area for permission to set up stands for selling Poppies on Memorial Day weekend and also on Veterans Day. These monies allow us to supply coffee and donuts twice a month at the local VA Clinic, and to send Care packages and Gift Certificates to our Veterans. We also provide transportation for our veterans who have to go from Warren to the Youngstown VA Clinic. We also provide our members with Bibles and triangular flag displays.

Ed was elected State Convention delegate in 2003-2005, and in 20O7 he was elected 2nd Vice-Commander for the Department of Ohio, a position he still holds.

The Department of Ohio honored him at a Banquet at the Birchwood Banquet & Party Center, Walton Hills, Ohio 44146.

One does not have to be Polish to join The Polish Legion of American Veterans, U.S.A. For membership information, interested readers should visit the Department of Ohio Website,