PLYMOUTH — Ken Kiel, 73, has worn a replica of the American flag every day since September 11, 2001.
“I can’t remember missing a single day,” he said. “It’s like putting your pants on.”
In addition to his clothing, Ken and Sandy Kiel, his wife of 50 years, fly the colors at their home and Ken has three flag decals on his truck, one on each side and one on the trailer hitch.
The second of 10 children, Ken said that all of his life he has recognized America to be a place of opportunity.
And it has been — though it required a lot of hard work.
“I worked for the American Finance Company for 12 years,” he said, “before starting my own company, Kiel Investments.”
Self-described as a very patriotic person, Ken, a 1956 graduate of Bourbon High School, joined the Air Force in February of 1957, and was scheduled to be deployed to Electronic School in Denver, when a thyroid abnormality forced him to be honorably discharge for medical reasons.
“Right after the 9/11 attack, lapel pins were easy to find,” he said, “but in recent years they are in short supply.”
His daughters keep him supplied. Most recently Lori Kiel, Indianapolis, sent him a box of 60 pins which will assure Ken that he will never be without.
“I won’t let that happen,” he said, “my wearing the flag reminds me and others what a great country we have. I am proud to do so.”