“It’s not about us, it is about our veterans,” said Mike Flennery, Commander of VFW Kekionga Post #1421.
Flennery is a lifetime member of the VFW Post located at 7712 Bluffton Road. This is his second stint as post commander. He led the Legion in 2000 and was again elected to commander in June of 2007.
Flennery was born in Columbus, Indiana. His parents, Alfred and Florine moved to Fort Wayne when he was six months old. He graduated from Elmhurst High School (EHS) in 1967 and after high school he attended Ball State and later transferred to IPFW. Mike left college and married his wife Teri, also an EHS graduate.
Mike was drafted into the Army and did his basics at Fort Knox, Kentucky in August of 1969. From basic training, including jump school, he was moved to the Central Highlands of Vietnam with the 173rd Airborne.
Flennery was honorably discharged from the Army in April of 1971 and began work at Ridenour Twins Service Station here in Waynedale. From Ridenours’ he moved to North American Van Lines as a diesel mechanic and in December of 1983, he moved to his present job as lead Mechanic at the SWAC School District.
Mike and his wife Terri have two grown children, both married, living in the Waynedale area and they have one grandchild.
Mike said, “It is a privilege to serve all the people who watch and are involved in the parade, especially the Veteran’s, young and old.”
“The support of all our citizens for the troops and the veterans is very gratifying. The looks on the faces of the very young (like my grandson) is wonderful. Memorial Day is a great way to show our respect and gratitude to those who have given their all for our country.”
Editor’s note: The Veterans of the local legions begin the Memorial Day ceremony on Saturday morning, May 24th by placing flags at the veteran’s graves. Memorial Day, Monday, May 26, the parade begins at Waynedale United Methodist Church at 9:00 AM at the church parking lot, 2501 Church Street.
The Waynedale Memorial Day parade has grown over the years as more and more people find it refreshing to spend a few hours watching a parade and then attending the ceremonies at Prairie Grove Cemetery.
As our country continues to have soldiers overseas, it is fitting that we take a little time out of our lives to pause and give thanks for those men and women who have put themselves in harms way to protect the values and the freedoms we all enjoy everyday.