On Kentucky Colonels

Honorable Order of Kentucky ColonelsMany years ago I was visiting with my father one afternoon. He was showing me various artifacts he had collected during his life. He reached into the mysterious “top drawer” of his bureau, pulled out a tube and extracted a document. When unfurled, it was his commission into the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels. I had heard the term but was unfamiliar with the organization. I was, however, very impressed and inspired by the fact that my own father held this honor. This was not a great surprise as I was frequently impressed and inspired by the accomplishments of my father. At the time I had very little knowledge of the organization. About all I knew of them were that they often frequented the Kentucky Derby, drank mint Juleps, and wore impressive mustaches and goatees, or so I thought. Until I was made aware of my father’s commission, the only other Kentucky Colonel that I had any knowledge of was Colonel Harlan Sanders. I only wished that I too someday would become a Kentucky Colonel. (I know, it was a strange desire for a man born and bred in Ohio.) Last year my wish came true.

I was inducted into the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels. I received my commission, duly signed by the Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Wow, me, a Colonel. I was impressed. I was probably more impressed by this honor than would be others. Because of my background, the rank of Colonel was awe-inspiring. After all, I had spent eight years on active duty in the military and another 25 years in a semi-military organization as a Police Officer. I had been avoiding and saluting anything with the rank of Colonel for 33 Years, and now I held the commission, and ostensibly the rank. I thought to myself, now I could give the Assistant Police Chief who had been annoying me so greatly, a piece of my mind. After all, he was only a Lt. Colonel, and I was a full Colonel. In retrospect, it is probably best that I did not act on that impulse. But it made things much more tolerable, knowing that I out ranked the little despot made a world of difference, at least in my mind. Of course, with my luck, had I acted on the impulse, I may have found out that the Lt. Colonel was also a full Kentucky Colonel who would have outranked me on a basis of seniority alone. Oh well, one can dream.

In case you are wondering, the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels is a benevolent organization of like-minded individuals who do good works and charitable deeds. Typically any disaster will receive a check for the Kentucky Colonels to help alleviate the suffering and misery. To quote from the website of the Kentucky Colonels, “Kentucky Colonels are unwavering in devotion to faith, family, fellowman and country. Passionate about being compassionate. Proud, yet humble. Leaders who are not ashamed to follow. Gentle but strong in will and commitment. The Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels, as a Brotherhood, reaches out to care for our children, support those in need and preserve our rich heritage. “ The next time you hear or think of a Kentucky Colonel, realize there are more to them, and much more to the organization than is commonly known. I am proud to be a Kentucky Colonel, but more proud that I am a member of such and honorable organization and know that my meager donations can go far to help others in need.


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Tom Lind

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  1. Scott LadriganJanuary 25, 2014

    thanks for sharing that memory

  2. judy aka judi aka judithJanuary 25, 2014

    Wow! I salute you! This is really interesting as I never knew what a Kentucky Colonels.How we’re you inducted? I really like their mission! Is it an organization for men only? Congratulations!

  3. judy aka judi aka judithJanuary 25, 2014

    Just reread the article and realized it was a brotherhood.That answers my question about the memberships makeup!

  4. SherryJanuary 26, 2014

    Thanks for sharing that nice story and congrats!


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