Superior flag raising honors Vietnam veteran

Body: 

A Flag of Remembrance flies Friday for Sgt. Arnold A. "Clint" Houk, who served his country as a member of the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War.

The flag is raised at 9 a.m. in front of the Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center for Houk. The ceremony is free and open to the public.

Arnold A. Houk was born Sept. 1, 1946, in Port Angeles, Wash. He graduated from the Port Angeles High School in 1964 and worked at the Crown Zellerbach Paper Mill in Port Angeles until he left for basic training Sept. 14, 1964 at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas.

Houk received his training in jet engine mechanics and then was stationed at the former Duluth Air Base, becoming a member of the 148th Fighter Unit. He met Mary Thompson of Superior in 1965. Houk was deployed to Phan Rang Air Force Base, Vietnam, in August of 1966, returning home September 1967. Houk and Thompson were married Sept. 23, 1967, at Bethel Lutheran Church, Superior. They traveled to Merced, Calif., where Houk was the jet engine trim team chief, Engine Conditioning Section, 93rd Field Maintenance Squadron, Castle Air Force Base, Calif.

Their son, Ronald, was born on the airbase on May 18, 1968. Later, Houk was honorably discharged with the rank of sergeant from active duty. The couple moved back to Superior. Houk was the 1980 Tri-State Arm Wrestling Champion for all weight classes in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan. He would not be able to defend that title, as he was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor in 1981.

Houk never faltered in his faith and said this faith blessed him with a daughter, Jamie Rae, on Feb. 22, 1984. His son, Ronald, blessed him with grandson, Timothy, in 1991. Houk's faith also gave him the strength and courage to face the challenges through his lengthy battle with cancer and the effects of radiation treatment. His legacy continues with the birth of granddaughter Liliana in 2004 and grandson William in 2011.

Arnold passed away Sept. 5, 2002, and was laid to rest at the Northern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Spooner.

The entire Houk family and friends are proud of Arnold's service to his country and are happy to have a Flag of Remembrance flown in his memory.

For more information about the Flag of Remembrance Program, contact John Vaski at (715) 394-7693, Scott Markle at (218) 269-4675 or leave a message at the Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center at (715)392-7151 or info@bvhcenter.org.