My Name Is Old Glory

Charlie Winnekens has a few things in common with the Star Spangled Banner.



Today, June 14, is Flag Day, and it marks when 13 young and rebellious colonies already unified in war officially banded together under a single banner. This year, the Stars and Stripes turn 241-years-old.

June 14 is also the birthday of lifelong Denmark man, Charlie Winnekens, who turned 68today. The Purple Heart veteran of the Vietnam War sees more than cloth or nylon flapping in the wind.

My Name is Old Glory

By Charlie Winnekens

Charlie at age 19. He was stationed in Phanthiet, South Vietnam as a pilot with the 192nd Assault Helicopter Company.

(Transcribed from an oral presentation)

Old Glory and I, we have a few things in common.

I’m a pilot and I like flying. She likes flying, too, but she’s been higher than me—she’s been on the moon.

She waves at everyone, and I wave at everyone, too.

She rides in the car wherever I go because I know that she protects me, and I protect her.

And on June 14, 1777, Congress resolved that our flag be 13 stripes—red and white alternating stripes, with a blue field with 13 stars representing a new constellation. Today, that constellation is 50 stars, and it’s the brightest constellation in the galaxy of nations.

Old Glory is the most powerful in the world. She’s sacrificed a lot of money, and a lot of blood, and an awful lot of lives.

She’s a little dirty, and battle-worn, and she’s tired.

When we veterans meet her, she looks down at us and she says,

“Look up! Look up and see me! My name is Old Glory.”

So we look up. And we salute her.

And then she says, “Thank you.”

“Thank you.”

(Transcribed from audio)