Mike Skelton follows in Ely’s military tradition as he gets his wings from flight school

by Nick Wognum -

Ely’s strong military tradition now includes a graduate of the U.S. Marine Corps’ flight school.
Mike Skelton, 25, received his wings March 31 and will move on to fly F-18 Hornet jets.
He follows in the footsteps of his mentor, James Kuehl of Ely, who recently retired from the military after a 20-year career as a Naval aviator.
“I met Mike at a wedding in Ely when he was junior in high school,” said Kuehl. “He was young, bright, ambitious bright eyed kid who loved flying. He had grown up with his dad addicted to flying. He found out I was a top gun instructor he said, ‘I want to do what you do.’
“I told him he needed to get his bachelor’s degree and once he had his degree he needed to be commissioned. With his dad Stan being a Marine, Mike wanted to be a Marine instead of in the Navy,” said Kuehl.
Skelton graduated from Ely Memorial High School in 2009 and went to college at the University of St. Thomas-Minnesota while also going through the ROTC program at the University of Minnesota.

Read the complete article in this week’s Ely Echo!