The Astoria native served as a first lieutenant of port security at Cam Ranh Bay in Vietnam, and didn’t see combat.
Although equipped with a mathematics degree from Fordham University, he came home and decided to be a tractor-trailer driver, working up to 60 hours a week.
Edenhofer joined the American Legion and the VFW, but never went to a meeting because of his work schedule. He was only convinced to join VVA after he ran into a friend at a car show.
After retiring, Edenhofer began attending Chapter 32 meetings and really enjoyed the work they did. The Vietnam vets attended street fairs to help raise money, buried indigent veterans who had no families, and supported the residents of the St. Albans Veterans Home.
They helped veterans who are applying for benefits, and offered a helping hand to those struggling with PTSD.
“That’s what we’re about,” he said. “We advocate for veterans.”
Edenhofer comes from a family of veterans. His father served in World War II, and his grandfather served in the first World War, although for the “other side.”
He said he wants people to know that all of the freedoms they enjoy are solidified because of the sacrifices service members have made. When Edenhofer volunteered to go to Vietnam, he left behind a daughter who was just two years old.
“I didn’t know if I was ever going to see her again,” he said.
Edenhofer is now nine months into his two-year term. He acknowledged that there’s a steep learning curve, but it has been worth it.
“It’s a tough job, but you get a lot of help,” he said.