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Ligonier military groups organize program for Memorial Day observance

| Wednesday, May 22, 2013, 9:15 p.m.
Sean Stipp | Tribune-Review
Vietnam veteran Jim Tobias of Ligonier places flags on veterans graves at the Ligonier Valley Cemetery.

Fort Ligonier Post 734 Veterans of Foreign Wars and Byers-Tosh American Legion Post 267 will conduct a Memorial Day program on the Diamond in Ligonier. The parade will assemble at 10:30 a.m. Monday on Bell Street and proceed to the Diamond at 11 a.m.

The parade marshal is Richard Flickinger of Ligonier.

Flickinger is a United States Army veteran who served in the Vietnam War.

He was a member of the Reserve Officer Training Corps. program at Lafayette College in Easton where he graduated as a second lieutenant in the Ordnance Corps.

After obtaining a law degree from the University of Pittsburgh, Flickinger reported for active duty as a first lieutenant in January 1966. He received his initial training assignment with the 199th Infantry Brigade (separate) (light). Beginning in June 1966, he served as a brigade ammunition officer and deployed with the brigade to Vietnam from November 1966 to May 1967.

He was promoted to captain and reassigned to the First Logistical Command in South Vietnam. He was the commanding officer of company that controlled ammunition used by the U.S. Army in South Vietnam. Flickinger received a bronze star for service to the First Logistical Command.

He completed his two-year military tour on Nov. 21, 1967 and returned home to Ligonier to resume practicing law with his father Richard J. Flickinger.

He has been active in the Westmoreland Bar Association, serving on numerous committees, including co-chair of the Orphans' Court committee.

“As parade marshal, I can enjoy the opportunity to express my appreciation for all the veterans who have served,” said Flickinger.

Flickinger said he had two great-grandfathers who served during the Civil War.

He said he is proud to have had the opportunity to serve his country.

“It made a difference in my life,” he said. “I felt lucky to have the opportunity to serve.”

Flickinger had an opportunity to go back to South Vietnam in February as a tourist with his Allen, 40, who works for Chevron in Singapore.

“When I went to visit, Allen asked me if wanted to go anywhere else,” he said. “I always wanted to go back to Vietnam and see what was there.”

“It was a very educational experience to visit the memorials,” said Flickinger about going back to Vietnam. “Everything has changed and nothing has changed.”

After an invocation by VFW Chaplain Jim Tobias, VFW Commander David Hunter and American Legion Commander Roy Hutchinson will provide the Memorial Day addresses.

Both commanders will also present a memorial to departed comrades followed by the reading of “In Flander's Field.” The Ligonier Valley Veterans Firing Squad will offer a gun salute and taps will be played and benediction will be presented by Tobias. Members of the Ligonier Valley High School Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps. will raise the flag during the ceremony.

Deborah A. Brehun is a staff editor for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-238-2111 or