By DOTTY NIST
Distinguished Walton County resident Col. Michael M. Flynt, USAF, Ret., was recognized in recent weeks both by the state and the community for his contributions.
Flynt, a Miramar Beach resident, passed away on Dec. 22, 2017.
Flynt had served the community in many ways following his military career, which was as United States Air Force Command Pilot, with numerous awards such as the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross and the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, and as faculty member and commandant at the U.S. Air Force Special Operations School.
On Oct. 4, the Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance (CBA) recognized one of Flynt’s many contributions to the community, that of co-founder of the CBA, a nonprofit organization dedicated to maintaining the health of local water bodies and waterways.
Approximately 50 people gathered at Florida Park in Valparaiso for a morning ribbon cutting dedication of the CBA’s newest living shoreline project in Flynt’s memory. The shoreline has been designated as the Mike Flynt Living Shoreline.
Living shoreline projects use plants, recycled oyster shells, and other natural elements to protect coastlines from erosion.
The CBA is administered through Northwest Florida State College. Flynt served on the Northwest Florida State College board of trustees and also as past president of the college’s Institute of Senior Professionals.
Among Flynt’s other community activities were serving as president of South Walton Utility Company and as a member of Choctawhatchee Military Council and Air Commando Association.
The recent state recognition was in the form of the Sept. 24 approval by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and his Cabinet of Flynt as a nominee for the Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame Class of 2019.
According to remarks by Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs Executive Director Danny Burgess at the Sept. 24 meeting of the Governor and Cabinet: The Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame was established in 2012 by direction of the Florida Legislature specifically to honor and recognize veterans for their post-military service; since that time, some 70 distinguished veterans, all residents of Florida, have been inducted into the Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame.
Plans are for Flynt to be inducted as part of a group of 16 into the 2019 class. All inductees have their name placed on a plaque displayed in the Florida Capitol Building.
Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame inductions ceremonies are held yearly in November and are scheduled to be held around the time of Veteran’s Day. Information on the 2019 induction ceremony will be forthcoming.