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Flinn’s love letters: ‘You have my heart, soul, mind and body’

May 24, 1997

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. (AP) _ Nearly everywhere she looked, Gayla Zigo found another love letter to her husband written by 1st Lt. Kelly Flinn.

Under the car seat, in his pockets, in his soccer bag. There were postcards of sunsets, cards with hearts, a key to her house, a tape of love songs and long, flowing letters from Flinn about how they would be together forever.

``You have my heart, soul, mind and body,″ Flinn wrote Marc Zigo last summer. ``I want to be with you forever and I will fight for it.″

Zigo’s ex-wife released copies of Flinn’s love letters on Friday, a day after Flinn accepted a general discharge, ending her Air Force career but avoiding a revealing court-martial on adultery, fraternization and disobedience charges.

The love notes would have been used against Flinn in court.

``She thought she was untouchable,″ Gayla Zigo told The Associated Press. ``She knew what she was doing. She just didn’t care.″

Sitting in an office at Minot Air Force Base, the 22-year-old airman stationed here said Flinn had no one to blame but herself.

``I’m sick of seeing Kelly Flinn portrayed as the victim,″ she said. ``It really hurt.″

Flinn has said she was duped by Marc Zigo, a man she now calls ``detestable.″ Flinn has said she thought Zigo, the base’s civilian sports director, was separated and would eventually marry her.

Zigo, 24, and Flinn, who is 26 and single, began their affair about a week after the Zigos moved into their military home on this remote prairie base near the Canadian border.

The Zigos had been married a year after a long courtship that began at a naval base in Japan where Marc Zigo was a Navy seaman and Gayla Nicolay was a ``military brat.″

Marc Zigo left the Navy on disability.

His father, Paul Zigo, called his son’s behavior ``disgraceful and shameful″ in an interview published today in the Asbury Park Press of Neptune, N.J., where Zigo grew up and his parents still live.

In a letter to the editor that accompanies the interview, the elder Zigo called his former daughter-in-law ``the true victim in all this ... and our hearts go out to her.″ He said his son had lost his ``moral compass.″

Gayla Zigo said her first year of marriage was wonderful, with flowers, cards and a ring with 22 diamonds on their first anniversary. They planned to settle at Minot, start a family, buy a puppy and build a new life.

Then her husband caught the eye of the ``bomber baron,″ the only woman on the base soccer team he coached. Flinn even helped the new couple move into their home.

Gayla Zigo says that Flinn flaunted her officer status, partying with enlisted men at bars and at her house. The fraternization charge against Flinn stemmed from another affair with an enlisted man.

When she found the love notes, Gayla Zigo went immediately to her superiors. She said Flinn called her in panic.

``She was crying and pacing and saying `I’m sorry, I’m sorry. One day we’ll burn these letters together.′ She was so afraid. She said, `How am I going to fly tomorrow?‴

Flinn ignored an order to stay away from Zigo. Instead, he moved into her house after a failed suicide attempt in December, after Gayla Zigo told him the marriage was over.

She filed for divorce at the same time her husband headed off to Georgia to meet Flinn’s family.

``I don’t hate anyone,″ said Gayla Zigo. ``There is only so much hate you can have and then you have to let it go. But I want to be an officer some day. And this is not how officers should behave.″

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