Today’s guest served his country with honor and distinction, has been committed to his wife for over 40 years, has six kids who love each other (most of the time), has enough grandchildren to field a football team (and still have a few subs), has cultivated a dedicated and loyal community of friends, and is generous with his time and resources – and I am proud to call this man the most successful man that I know and my father.
All that Mike Flynn Sr. has achieved is even more impressive when you consider the fact that he didn’t necessarily grow up in a home that modeled the generosity and love that he offers his children, grandchildren, and community. His childhood home was marked with abuse and self-medication, which ultimately led to him dropping out of high school at 16 years old.
He was looking for an opportunity – and that’s when he found the Army. He started as a clerk, quickly moving up to infantry and then long range reconnaissance patrol (which is part of the 75th Ranger lineage). In the jungles of Vietnam, he saw a degree of safety belonging to a smaller patrol, as well as the adventure and excitement he was originally sold by military recruiters.
Mike Flynn Sr. left the military almost as quickly as he joined, young and confused. He had packed away his grief for the young people who fell beside him, but it all came unpacked in college. He sent a letter forgiving and apologizing to his father. He never received a reply, but it opened something in him.
“I let go of anger and hatred. I let go of it, in that act… I found myself back in church and I renewed my relationship with Jesus and the Catholic church, and I came into a relationship with God, and all of that confusion went away. I always said felt like I was a ship that was listing to the side and that ship was righted.”
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