Tommy May isn’t one to take freedom for granted.

Tommy May isn’t one to take freedom for granted.

The Marine Corps and Vietnam War veteran believes in the principles represented by the American flag. Thus, when the Pine Bluff Country Club — which May has previously served as president — wound up without its flag, May and his wife Kathryn stepped forward to make certain the absence was remedied.

The couple donated American, Arkansas and country club banners as well as flagpoles and associated landscaping services to PBCC after its previous flag display had been destroyed in an automobile accident.

The Mays were publicly recognized for their generosity in a flag-raising ceremony fittingly held on July 3, 2013. The event was timed so that the flags could be flying on Independence Day.

But when PBCC President Gene Hudson began to point out Tommy May’s devotion to public service, May shook his head negatively and said, "This isn’t about me. It’s about our club."

May’s reaction wasn’t unanticipated. He has a reputation for shunning acclaim.

May stated his affection for Pine Bluff and then began naming others who had supported the effort, in which he said he was proud to have been a participant.

As Kathryn May raised the American flag, about 35 observers either saluted or placed a hand over their hearts while singing the national anthem.

Hudson said that Independence Day is a testament to "special men and women" continuing the armed services’ dedication to democracy. He thanked the Mays, and noted that Tommy May possesses strong beliefs concerning America’s liberties.

"Our nation counts on capable coaches, teachers, soldiers and business leaders who are committed to their beliefs," Hudson said. Speaking of May, Hudson added. "We are fortunate that in Pine Bluff, we are blessed with such a person."

May, Hudson said, is characterized by a "high energy level in whatever he is doing."

"Tommy May is either helping people with educational needs, caring for the sick or assisting in whatever is needed," Hudson continued. "He’s very motivated to help others."