Veteran Voices: The Oral History Podcast – Episode 33
Tom Flynn | Avenue of 444 Flags & the War on Terror Memorial
On episode 33 of Veteran Voices: The Oral History Podcast, we have a conversation with Tom Flynn of Mercer County, and we talk about patriotism, remembering, and preserving stories through his Avenue of 444 Flags and War on Terror veterans memorials in Heritage, Pennsylvania. Recorded October 2, 2016. Host: Kevin Farkas. Audiography: Kevin Farkas/Bryan Chemini.
Tom Flynn grew up in Chicago, Illinois. As a working class kid and the son of a steelworker, he joined the army after he could no longer pay for college. While in the army he joined the famed 101st Airborne Division. “It was all about discipline,” Tom insists. “I needed discipline in my life at that time and I found it in the army.”
After the army, Tom eventually finished his degree and became a certified public accountant and businessman. In the late 1970s, an investment in a funeral home and cemetery brought him to Hermitage, Pennsylvania, but he soon realized that Western Pa is where he wanted to call home. It was blue collar, and it reminded him of home.
But it was during the Iranian hostage crisis of 1979 that Tom really made a mark on his adopted home. In this podcast, we talk about the events that brought international fame to Hermitage.