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Honoring a longtime friend

Honoring a longtime friend
November 11, 2021 Jeff Shaffer

Surrounded by family and friends, Jim King, stands by the flag pole at the Central PA Chamber of Commerce dedicated in his honor on Veterans Day. He is a U.S. Army veteran who served during the Vietnam War and spent the last decade as a full-time volunteer with the Central PA Chamber.

MILTON – Veterans Day is already a special day when we as Americans take the time to honor our brave servicemen and women, but this year was made even more special for the Central PA Chamber of Commerce when it honored a longtime friend.

Jim King, of Winfield, who has volunteered countless hours with the Central PA Chamber over the last decade, was surprised on Veterans Day with a flag pole dedication, to honor his service to the organization. In addition, King is a veteran of the U.S. Army, serving two tours in Vietnam and many more years in other government roles.

Earlier this year, he officially retired from his daily duties behind the reception desk at the Chamber, but keeps in regular touch with the staff.

Around the same time as King’s retirement, Ron Mackley, Chairman of the Chamber’s Board of Directors, had the idea to add a special addition to the Chamber property at 30 Lawton Lane, Milton.

“I thought we should probably look at getting a flag pole for the Chamber, and what better to honor Jim King,” he said, during the midday dedication that included King’s family, dozens of friends he made over the years and elected officials, including state Rep. Lynda Schlegel Culver and Congressman Fred Keller.

The Chamber partnered with T-Ross Brothers Construction to install the flag pole on the northwest side of the building for all to see when they drive by. There is now also a plaque, ordered from On Fire Promotions, that reads, “In Honor of Jim King, a longtime friend of the Central PA Chamber.”

The pole adorns a new U.S. Flag as well as a Pennsylvania state flag that once flew over the capitol building in Harrisburg. That flag and certificates from Gov. Tom Wolf and the House of Representatives was presented to King by Schlegel Culver, who has personally known the honoree for decades.

“I met him when I was 18 years old,” she said. “You were an excellent mentor.”

In regard to his military service, she understands that “veterans don’t always want help or services and definitely don’t want to be recognized.” However, it won’t stop many from taking notice and showing their gratitude.

Schlegel Culver added, “Veterans keep giving beyond their service…to churches, in the community and take jobs that make a difference, and that is to be commended.

“You are just the best of the human experience,” she said to King.

Tea Jay Aikey, the Chamber’s President & CEO, said, “You’re such an integral part of this organization. When they came to us with this idea, nobody had to think twice.”

King was given the honor of raising both flags alongside his sons, Tom and Kevin, as well as Todd Ross, President of T-Ross Brothers Construction.

It now stands complete as a permeant reminder to King’s legacy with the Central PA Chamber, and as a way to honor our great state and country.

A reception with lunch in the Chamber’s Smith Room followed, garnished in a patriotic theme. The lunch was catered by The Breaking Bread Company and the staff also brought in some homemade goodies. It was a great time to catch up and many stories were shared.

The Central PA Chamber wishes to thank all veterans for their tireless service to the nation!

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