Local veteran presents US flag to Main Street business
When local resident, and U.S. Navy veteran, George Henry Conger, Jr. saw the red, white and blue being displayed in what he deemed a not appropriate manner along the 500 block of South Main Street in Concordia, he set out to do something about it.
“I was walking down the street and noticed the flag in front of Antiquology was oversized, and because it was so big, it was touching the sidewalk,” he said. “I went inside to tell them about it. I had a flag at home that was the right size for the front of the store, so I brought it up here and presented it to them.”
Beth Dyer, owner of Antiquology, said she sees what Conger did as a blessing to her and her husband.
“George has become a staple in our community,” Dyer said. “Mitch and I feel so blessed that he cares about our business enough that he did such a sweet, generous act.”
Born in Laddonia, Mo., on Sept. 6, 1931, the 87-year-old Conger said he comes from a clan that is over 6,000 years old.
“I never married, so I will be the last George Henry Conger,” he said.
Conger spent 20 years on active duty in the Navy, stationed aboard the USS Topeka CLG8, with a total of 10 years spent on the East Coast and another 10 years on the West Coast.
“I was part of a landing team,” he said. “If troops were in a battle, like they were in Grenada, and we had to go in and help, I had to hit the beach in full battle gear.”
After his discharge from active service, he spent another 10 years in the Naval Reserve. He is now retired. Most recently, Conger can be seen walking the streets of Concordia in his blaze yellow sweatshirt and hat. He has to cover up well, he said, because he is sunlight intolerant.
When asked why he felt compelled to give Antiquology a new flag for the front of the store, he said it was just out of habit.
“Us veterans are in the habit of helping other people,” he said. “An example would be those motorcycle riders who go to Washington, D.C., and talk to the senators and Congress about soldiers still missing in action and so on. We like to help others the best we can.”
Conger said he was recently visiting another establishment along Main Street and he ran into a Marine from North Carolina.
“It was the first time I had met someone from the East Coast here in Concordia, so I bought him a drink,” he said. “He was already drinking, so I figured ‘why not?’”
Why not, indeed, Mr. Conger … Why not?