Tinley Park’s Rea to lead RNC in Pledge of Allegiance
BY STEVE METSCH email@example.com August 28, 2012 4:02PM
Updated: September 30, 2012 6:14AM
Tinley Park Village Clerk Pat Rea on Wednesday night will lead delegates in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.
Rea, 72, a retired Army brigadier general who served in the Vietnam War in 1965 and 1966, said organizers asked him to lead the pledge because of his military service.
“They’re kicking it off (Tuesday night) with a Korean (War) veteran. So you know I’m over the hill when this happens,” Rea said.
Organizers called Rea last week to see if he was interested.
“I said, ‘Sure, it’s an honor,’ ” Rea said.
Rea has been active in the Republican Party for years, Tinley Park Mayor Ed Zabrocki said.
“I think it’s fantastic. ‘Local guy makes good,’ ” Zabrocki said.
“It’s quite an honor,” said Judy Bruning, Zabrocki’s secretary.
Rea is a bit nervous about the assignment. He is scheduled to do a dress rehearsal Wednesday morning.
Rea, who grew up in Tinley Park, said he’s “so old that the pledge I knew was changed.”
He’s not kidding.
“The original pledge did not have the words ‘under God.’ It’s not the same pledge I memorized in grade school,” he said. “So I got a copy and have read it a few times to practice.”
Rea said he’s glad that members of the Armed Forces are being asked to read the pledge during the convention.
“It’s very kind of them. I think both parties have continued to be very supportive of the American veteran, and this is really more of that,” he said.