He's earned several distinctions most never realize in their lifetime.

That's what makes the accolades Father Edward McElduff recently had bestowed upon him all the more special.

McElduff, of St. Nicholas Church in Berlinsville, was recently presented with citations by state Rep. Julie Harhart from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

The gesture was done in recognition of McElduff's 91st birthday, as well as his esteemed military service, in which he earned two Purple Hearts.

McElduff served in the U.S. Navy from 1942-1946 in both the European and Pacific operations. He spent two years in the 101st Cavalry of the New York National Guard.

McElduff came from a military family, where his father was a two-star admiral, his two uncles Naval Academy graduates, and his mother served in the U.S. Navy during World War I.

While on a mission during the Invasion of France, McElduff was wounded when the airplane he was on hit two mines off the coast. For his action, he was awarded the Purple Heart for action on D-Day, June 6, 1944.

McElduff was wounded twice in an aerial attack, before he was sent back to the Pacific Theatre, and then Japan.

McElduff, of Holy Family Villa, Bethlehem, belongs to the Diocese of Allentown, and spent 20 years as pastor of St. Nicholas Church in Lehigh Township.