Heroes of Texoma: Mike Downey - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Heroes of Texoma: Mike Downey

(Source: Dee Downey) (Source: Dee Downey)
GRAHAM, TX (KAUZ) -
Newschannel 6 is taking the days leading up to the Fourth of July to honor those who have fought for our country's freedoms. 
Mike Downey was born in January of 1949 in Graham but was raised in Houston. 
Like a lot of people, he had some decisions to make when he graduated high school. 
"I looked at college options and the Vietnam War was hot then. I wanted to have a choice in what I wanted to do and I wanted to see the world, so I figured the quickest way to do that would be in the Navy," Downey said.
His career in the Navy took him all over the world. 
"I've been to Japan, Korea, Singapore and Australia," he said. 
Downey was on sea duty for 16 years and said he's basically been around the world three times. 
"My kids one time were going to put pins in a map of places where I had been. They ran out of pins, so they came up with {the} bright idea to put the pins in places I had not been," Downey said. 
While being away from his children and losing some people he served with was hard, Downey said some of his best memories were the people. 
"I've got good ship mates but I've felt that people in general, all over the world, are good people and friendly people," he said. 
His wife Dee said the things she admires most about him is his integrity. 
"That's something you don't see in everybody," she said. 
Mike is just appreciative that people care enough to recognize him and others that have served our country. 
"It's nice to know that somebody gives a damn that you did it, and that's the only way I can put it," he said.
While it took him some time to retire officially from all jobs he's had since retiring from the US Navy, Mike serves as the quartermaster for the VFW Post 8567 in Graham. Every two years he and others that served on the USS Mississippi get together for a reunion. An auction held at the reunion helps raise money to help veterans in need. This year, Mike has auctioned off his beard and hair. The highest bidder will be giving him a haircut and shave his beard. 
If someone you know is deserving of the same recognition let us know. Send us an email to News@KAUZ.com. 
Include your contact information and any photos you may have. 
We will get in touch with you for further opportunities. 
This is a small way the Newschannel 6 family can say thank you to those who serve our country.
    
Samantha Forester, Newschannel 6
Copyright 2016 KAUZ News All Rights Reserved
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