Proud veteran waves flags in Clymer

Avalon and Clayton Duink’s flag display at their home on Clymer-Sherman Road in Clymer, N.Y., has attracted many admirers as the Fourth of July nears.

CLYMER, N.Y. — Clayton Duink ran his eyes up the flag pole in his front yard of his Clymer home.

There, at the very top, a U.S. flag, rustled gently in the cool morning breeze.

“It’s looking kind of seamy,” said Duink, 81, a lifelong Clymer resident. “It’s really not bad. It’s not torn or anything.”

Still, Duink and his wife, Avalon, already have made plans to drive to the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 264 in Corry.

“We’re going to buy a new flag today,” Clayton Duink said.

When it comes to showing off Old Glory, the 1946 graduate of Clymer Central School wants nothing but the best.

The patriotic flag display at the couple’s home at 586 Clymer-Sherman Road proves it.

Proudly waving from the front porch of the two-story home are six U.S. flags, two U.S. Air Force flags (a new one and an old one), a U.S. Navy flag, and a U.S. Coast Guard flag. Two red, white and blue buntings also hang from the railing.

Directly under the U.S. flag on the pole is a flag from the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division, based at Fort Drum in Colorado. That’s where the Duinks’ grandson, U.S. Army Capt. Scott Caflisch, is stationed.

The flags representing the various military branches were given to Clayton Duink as a gift by his daughter, Barbara Duink, a retired lieutenant colonel with the Air Force who lives in Colorado Springs.

The flags were a Father’s Day/Flag Day present, and it didn’t take the U.S. Army veteran long to create a front-porch flag display.

“He worked like a beaver getting all this stuff up quickly and the weather cooperated,” Avalon Duink said. “He’s really proud of this.”

Clayton Duink was drafted into the Army in 1951, but was granted a discharge a month later so he could enlist for three years. He served with the Army’s Security Agency on St. Lawrence Island in Alaska.

“We were 40 miles from Siberia,” he said. “That was the last place that the U.S. mail was delivered by dogsled.”

Although he was discharged for good in 1954, Clayton Duink, who worked as a carpenter before serving as a custodian at Clymer Central School, never lost his love or respect for the American flag.

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