It’s not every day you meet a WWII Veteran, so we are especially excited to introduce to you January’s Member of the Month. Pete Bolinger and his son Mike Bolinger are the highlight of many peoples’ day when they come to The Pointe. Six days a week, Mike will bring his father to The Pointe who will proceed to do 200 reps on the leg press, use the pedal machine, and walk as much as he can.
“Any exercise is better than no exercise,” said Pete. “I received that piece of advice from a rehab doctor and I never forgot it. My advice to other people is this; Don’t ever quit.”
Those are powerful words coming from a man who served in two different wars. First, he served four years as an Electrician Mate First Class in the Navy during WWII, and later he served his country again in the Korean War. And he was eager to join, to say the least.
“I graduated high school in 1943, but I wasn’t old enough to join the Navy yet so I had to wait until my 17th birthday,” Pete said. “So on my 17th birthday I went to the recruiting office and filled out all the paperwork, which I had to bring home to have my parents sign because I still needed their permission.”
He had special reason for wanting to enlist so quickly. One of his brothers was a P.O.W. for three and a half years, and a part of Pete believed if he enlisted he’d be able to search for his brother. He never did find his brother or hear from him during the war. But after the war ended, to the family’s delight, they heard he was alive and well and on his way home.
Upon returning to civilian life, Pete began working for Western Electric and married his love Evelyn. They were married for 60 years before her passing. Two children, three grandchildren, and six great grandchildren later you can see a beautiful family legacy has begun.
His son, Mike, has been bringing his father to The Pointe ever since Pete moved to the area (right next door in fact). Mike is now retired and coaches trap shooting for Lindenwood and Team Henges. The success of the programs has been outstanding including many state and national championships. “I have to stay active so I can keep up with these young kids,” joked Mike. Which is a big reason he comes to The Pointe so often with his father.
The Pointe has played an important part of Pete’s life the last 12 years he’s been living in the area, but it became even more special the day he met Paul. Paul, as it turns out, also served in the Navy and at the same place as Pete. The two never met until they came to The Pointe.
Mike and Pete are both very positive individuals who are well-known and well-liked throughout The Pointe and we are honored to share a small part of their story. Congratulations on being named Member of the Month AND happy birthday to Pete who just turned 92 this month!