The Army – Navy football game this past weekend was extra special for a Salina couple. Retired Army veteran Bernard “Barney” King and his wife Mary were in Philadelphia for the big game.
The Kings were the winners of a Salina Media Group contest where the prize was a trip to the game. Barney credits his wife with winning the contest. He tells KSAL News “she heard about it, knew it was something we would enjoy, and entered”.
King graduated as a second lieutenant in the infantry from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1969. He became interested in flying while at the academy. After a tour in Vietnam from 1970-1971, he went to flight school and began flying the Huey and then the Black Hawk UH 60.
After his 23-year military career ended, King worked as a flight instructor and government contractor before joining the K-State Salina faculty in 1998.
In 2001 he was designated a Master Certified Flight Instructor by the National Association of Flight Instructors, becoming the first from K-State Salina and the sixth Kansan to earn the honor. He has renewed this designation biannually since his original designation.
Among King’s many awards are a Silver Star, a Bronze Star with Valor, two Purple Hearts and the Meritorious Service Medal 3rd Award. He was named Academic Adviser of the Year for 1999-2000 and 2002-2003. He received the McArthur Family Faculty Fellow Award in 2011
King says this was his first Army-Navy game since 1969, and other than the final score of the game which was a victory for Navy, he and his wife had a great time. They attended the rivalry game together back in 1969 as well, before they were married.
King says that he was able to attend some pregame events, and even reunited with some old classmates.
It snowed most of the game, but King says it really wasn’t a bother. He and Mary dressed in layers and were fine.
King says that though he might have been a little disappointed with the outcome of the game itself, he was not disappointed at all by the experience. “The whole pageantry of the event makes it so worthwhile” he added.