Thursday, May 29, 2008

First Full Wedding At Museum

The first full wedding and reception were held at the Museum over Memorial Day weekend. Below is my favorite shot of the snap shots that I took. The bride and her father.


The exciting thing was, this was a Marine Corps wedding. The very first wedding reception held at the museum was for two Air Force NCOs. It is a cool museum, better atmosphere than the O Clubs or NCO clubs at area bases.

We also had the small wedding reception in the Mess Hall for a Marine Wedding, but they got married off site.

The museum is trying to market itself as a wedding event destination, especially for military weddings. The Marine Corps Heritage Foundation even hired their own photographer to come to photograph the set-up so they can use it in brochures and print ads. If I ever get married, I would have at least my reception at the Museum because of my involvement here for the past six years (yes, can you believe it will be six years in July!). I think in the summer of 2009 the chapel is suppose to be completed and if it is as stunning as the artist's concept, well, I"m sure it will be a popular wedding location.

The groom is a 2nd LT and 2007 Naval Academy graduate. Several of his classmates were groomsmen. While the groom is getting his mug shot by the wedding photogs, I got a shot of the groomsmen primping. Gotta make sure the ribbons and buttons are all in the right place.


While the groom and his men were getting 'shot' out front, the museum catering staff was busily setting up. Here are the results. (Melissa are you getting some ideas?) The tables are decked out with red rose petals, cloth napkins and fish bowl centerpieces containing live Tetras.


The bar is always set up next to the Tarawa exhibit.


Below, the fruit, veggie, cheese and cracker station, they had two of these set-up. In addition, for the younger set, they had a candy 'bar' station. I have never seen such big bowls filled with M&Ms, gummy worms and skittles in my life! All in the red and white theme. The main course was served at their tables and was a choice between salmon or prime rib.


The bride and groom opted for the assorted dessert selection. I'm getting hungry! Gosh that chocolate cheese cake looks AMAZING!


I have never seen a cake topper like this. Clearly fishing was a theme to their wedding, in addition to the fish bowls on the tables, guests were asked to sign a giant platter that had fish painted on it.


The bridal party arrives. The bride was so excited about how beautiful everything looked inside. But to my horror, the Docent lounge was to be the "Bride's room" Had I known that, I would have cleaned the place up a bit.


Here the Maid of Honor helps the bride with her veil.


The bride poses with Rebecca, the special events co-ordinator at the museum.


Well, there was a little stressing out. Amazingly, the bride was not the one stressing out. To calm everyone's nerves, one of the bridesmaids started a round of "If You're Happy and You know It!"

Its Showtime!

The bridal party made their entrance from the Semper Fidelis Memorial Park. I'm sure the photos the photographer took of them coming through the archway were cool.


Seating was set up in front of the museum. I think I would recommend a future bride have a black curtain errected behind the minister and infront of the museum doors, that way you don't get a bunch of wedding pictures with the "Enter" and "Exit" signs. I think the image below is stunning. I'm sure their photographer got some great images.

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The happy couple pose with their parents for photographs after the ceremony. This was taken within the Semper Fidelis Memorial Park area.


Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day Thoughts

Portrait left at the World War 2 Memorial.

Bouquets of silk roses were left at all of the War Memorials in Wasington, DC. In addition, family members and friends leave momentos of their family members and friends. When I see these photos, I often wonder about the story behind the photo. Was this taken before he went to war? Was he an older or younger brother? Was he married or did he have a girlfriend (he looks too young to be married). How old was he? Did he make it home a live?

It was a crowded weekend in DC. There were lines EVERYWHERE!



Above, some members of Rolling Thunder at the World War 2 Memorial. I took a walk around the memorial and didn't see any WW2 veterans. Doesn't mean they weren't there, it was quite crowded.

Below, the Vietnam Wall. I didn't even try to get in the lines that started on either end. They were so long!


Below, a lesser visited monument, the World War 1 Memorial (if you notice, it says World War Memorial) They had no idea another war, 25 years later, would suck the nations of the world into another bitter fight. This makes me wonder what conflicts will we be involved in 25 years from now. I mean, 14 years ago, did any of us have an inkling that we'd be in Afghanistan and Iraq?

When I first moved here to DC, this structure was hidden behind overgrown bushes and weeds. I'm not sure when it was "restored", maybe 5 years ago. It is located on the eastern side of the lawn between the World War 2 Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial. The silk bouquets haven't been disturbed.

No crowds or lines here. A perfect refuge to reflect on sacrifices of military men and women and their families over the years. I have to wonder, will there be a time when the other memorials are this quiet on Memorial Day weekend?


The Korean War Memorial. This was crowded, but not as much as the Vietnam Wall or World War 2. I like the message on the wreath from the South Korean Ambassador "We are Today Because Such Men Where Then".



Above, the sculpture honoring Vietnam war nurses. There is a sculpture honoring World War 2 nurses somewhere in Arlington Cemetary. I will have to find it someday when I have time. Below is a message left by a grateful patient.


Near the Vietnam Wall, an organization bringing attention to the deaths after the Vietnam War that were attributed to Agent Orange exposure had quilts displayed. The quilt patches were made by family members honoring their vetrans. This was one of my favorite patches because it contained so many photos (if you haven't guessed, I'm really into photographs). The photos depict the Marine as a young boy, a young man, a Marine in Vietnam, and as a husband and father after the war. This Marine veteran, developed cancer related to exposure to Agent Orange and later died.

Another quilt patch that I also liked had the dates of birth of the veteran, the date he enlisted in the Air Force, the dates he was in Vietnam, and the date of his death due to cancer. Spread throughout the this patch were small hand print appliques with the first name of a grand child and their dates of birth - - all after the veteran's own death. For some reason that choked me up, all his grand children he missed meeting were represented on that patch.


I will now leave you with one final bike. Is this not loaded? I had to inspect it a bit more closely.


Yes, that is an aligator head, a lizard, turtle and some headless bird.


More Tribute Bikes

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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Tribute Bikes Honor Fallen Marines at Museum



That describes it all, beautiful bikes, beautiful day, beautiful visit at the Museum. I played guest on Saturday, one of my rare chances to roam the museum and not feel like a slacker.

The bike I'd like to tell you about first was designed by Lawrence Tremblay in honor of his son Joey and three other Marines from 3/25, 4th Battalion who lost their lives in Iraq. I talked to Mr. Tremblay briefly. I wish I had read the information on this bike prior to my visit because I would have paid more attention to the details that have been lovingly put into this machine.


I caught the general designs such as the eagle clutching the banner in its claws and the images of the four fallen Marines.

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But I missed the details, such as the challenge coins placed in the foot rest, the Marine Corps buttons from a dress uniform going up the tube (located under the gas tanks for all us non-biking readers) and the non-commissioned officer's sword acting as the suicide shifter. If you click on the first photo of this bike, you will be taken to my flickr account where you can choose the size of the photo. If you choose original, you will notice these details. You can read more about the making of this piece of roaring art work (yes, Mr. Tremblay rides the bike in rides) at Marine Tribute Bike.

While this bike honors all 48 Marines lost during 4th Battalion's deployment in 2005, the featured Marines are Corporal Joseph Tremblay, Corporal Bryan J. Richardson, Staff Sergeant Joseph Goodrich and Lance Corporal Ryan Kovacicek.


Now, take a look at the some of the details on this Monster of a Bike It has a doubel gas tank and boy does its engine roar. When it was started up, it brought back childhood memories of my grandpa's boat, which sounded much the same.


Take a look at the 50 cal trim and the ammo box mounted on front - - and the hand grenade foot rests. This bike that just screams "Go ahead, make my day!", honors Sgt. Joshua Frazier.

More bikes in the morning! Its been an incredible weekend!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Mommy, can I meet a Marine?

A lady and her daughter came to the front desk of the museum this morning. The Marine politely asked how he could help them.

"We were looking at the pictures back there, and my daughter asked me, 'Mommy, can I meet a Marine?' so I brought her up here so she could meet a Marine."


Cpl Seymore knelt down and told her he had a son about her age and he asked her if she wanted to be a Marine when she grew up?

"No, I want to be a mommy."

We all got a good chuckle. Then she gave Seymore a big hug.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

What We Do With What Has Been Given Is How We Honor Those Who Gave

Those of you who were following my Yahoo 360 blog last year may remember my post on the the Medal Of Honor Flag Presentation Ceremony for Jason Dunham at the National Museum of the Marine Corps . His company commander delivered one of the best speeches I have heard and I just have to resurrect it. The opening sentence itself is so powerful.

"All that we have has been given to us. What we do with what has been given to us is how we honor those who gave."

After the ceremony, I thanked Mrs. Dunham for sharing it with the public at the Museum. I tell people when I give tours and I point out Jason's photo on the Medal of Honor wall, that I told his mom I hoped if I were ever a mom, that I could be as good a mom as she was. I'm sure she probably thought I was some wacko. What I tell my tours, and what I couldn't articulate to Mrs. Dunham at the time, is what I meant by that comment.

If I am ever a parent, I hope that I can raise a child up to be unselfish enough to put his or her life on the line to save others. Now, no parent wants their child to be hurt or killed, I have been told having a child is like watching your heart walk around. However, I think it is such a testament to have raised up a selfless child with a sense of honor and duty. It says a lot about those parents who can let that child go, to go into a profession where they may be endangered or lose their lives because that child knows he or she will make a difference in someone else's life.

Despite the gloom and doom news coverage - - which has now pattered off to no news coverage because things are going better. I take heart in the positive stories. Like the photos and stories posted by a State Department PRC, showing a market place in Al Anbar with shops full of goods and people out shopping. When I see the good that is happening and how local Iraqis are taking steps to a better future, I see how our service men and women are being honored this Memorial Day Weekend.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Celebrating Memorial Day the NMMC Way

Can I just tell you how excited I am about all the cool things going on at the museum this weekend!

Nothing special was planned in 2007, our "Shake Down Cruise", and our first Memorial Day. Memorial Day 2008 is a different story!

Docent Dave says "Visit the Museum You Magots!"


Saturday, the doors to the museum will open an hour early, yep at 0800 (8 a.m.) to welcome 500 plus bikers participating in Rolling Thunder on their way to DC. In addition to that, outside the museum entrance will be a display of custom-designed Marine Corps motorcycles. The bikes and the men who built these mechanical memorials honoring Marines will be on hand Saturday and Sunday.


This weekend also marks the opening of artist Tom Hubbard's traveling exhibit, "SEMPER FIDELIS: How I Met My Father". This exhibit will be located on the second deck of the musuem and is a multi-media show featuring 20 works of orginal art inspired by the artist's personal journey to learn about his father, a U.S. Marine killed in Vietnam. Hubbard traveled to Vietnam in 200 to trace his father's footsteps and documented the journey. His show will be on display at the Museum through July 7th.


In addition to these two special exhibits, take some time to visit the Global War on Terrorism gallery, the museum recently installed cases to include micro artifacts as well as an unmanned aerial vehicle. I've already shared with you, in an earlier post, these new additions to the GWOT gallery. I wonder if they have any new photographs? Throughout the year, the museum has rotated in "fresh" combat camera photos of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I think its going to be an amazing weekend full of photo opportunities and hearing new stories, all of which I'll share with you here.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Oath Of Office

I have never been able to attend the commissioning ceremony of an OCS (Officer Candidate School) class at the National Marine Corps. For some reason they hold these things during the week, when I have to work.

The oath that these Marines are taking is the same oath taken by every person who joins the military or enters civilian duty with the United States Government. Yes, I have even taken this oath, even though I am a contractor working for the federal government.

OCS Class 197, Alpha Company, Commissioning on March 28, 2008.

The Oath of Office

I, _______________, do solemnly swear
that I will support and defend
the Constituion of the United States
against all enemies, foreign and domestic;

that I will bear true faith
and allegiance to the same;

that I take this obligation freely,
without any mental reservation
or purpose of evasion;

and that I will well and faithfully
discharge the duties of the office
on which I am about to enter.

So Help Me God

Why is this oath so important to me. Well, first of all, any oath we take, especially if we are taking it in God's name is very important, I believe God will actually hold me to account for all the oaths I have taken - - even my sorority oath, which by the way caused an end to a relationship because I refused to share the 'secrets' with said boyfriend. He couldn't understand why I wasn't willing to share this with him - - he was going to marry me - - I shouldn't keep secrets from my future spouse. Um, well, I took an oath to have "ignomy and disgrace heaped upon me by all who knew me" if I violated the oath. I think it says something about a person when they are able to honor a promise.

There have been so many people in history, recent history even, who have violated this oath. I think the thing that angers me the most is that by violating this oath, they not only hurt our country, they destroy families.

I read an article about the submarine called the Scorpion that failed to return to port 40 years ago on Memorial Day weekend. The families stood for hours, in a cool drizzle, on the pier waiting for their 99 loved ones to return from a 3 month deployment. What the families didn't know, the Navy hadn't heard from the sub for several days prior and had already been searching the Atlantic. Two books have come out recently speculating that the sub was sunk by the Soviets and it may have had something to do with John Walker, a Navy communications specialist who began selling Navy cypher codes to the Soviets the previous year. He sold out countless individuals and their families for a thousand dollars a month.

Another article I read noted that the most recent spy cases have not involved sums of money in exchange for the information. The spies were acting on ideology - - they thought it was the right thing to do.

As far as I'm concerned, its not the right thing to do. We all made a promise. Not just to our country and countrymen - - but to the people sitting in the cubicles next to us or our collegues out in the trenches (here in the states or on foreign soil) and their families. I guess in my midwest upbringing, I still have a child like innocence and belief that a promise is a promise.

A Spring of Goodness - P31 Woman

She does her husband good and not evil all the days of her life. Proverbs 31:12

Well, I'll be honest with you all, for me, this chapter was probably packed with good stuff that I need to digest, but with the demands of my job, I really wasn't able to dig into it too deeply.

There are two things that really stood out to me in this chapter 1) the importance of praying for our future spouse and 2) the importance of making a plan to bring goodness into not only the life of our husband, but to the people around us.

I really liked the list Elizabeth George provided entitled "The ABCs of Goodness". Some of the items that stood out to me:
  • Bless his name
  • Encourage his dreams
  • Indulge in praising him
  • Give him a joyful home
  • Follow his lead
  • Control spending

Yes, I know I am out of order but the fist items I listed seemed to fit together. How many of us know a woman who nags her husband, who bad mouths her husband, who is anything but encouraging, who undermines his decisions and who has maxed out more than one credit card? Did those men really want a wife like that? (O.k. I've met some men who have told me I'm not bitchy enough, which some how equates to I must not think too highly of myself - - so I just counter with - - if you want a woman who bitches at you and is never satisfied with what you do - - by all means find that kind of woman).

As single women, we talked about how we can develop goodness. My example I gave was with a guy I dated who really liked to hunt. He just lit up talking about hunting. Yes, I once spent a large portion of a day at a sporting goods store while he tried out crossbows. And I had a good time because he was having a good time and I could tell it. We all like being with people who are having a good time. Well, he was prepping for turkey hunting season and he had these tapes that teach you how to make the proper turkey call. So he was demonstrating his turkey calling abilities. He was really good at it. And I told him so - -and he demonstrated further his skills at turkey calling. He was just beaming and boy he was so darn cute! The girls in my Bible Study were laughing.

One of the girls pointed out that praising men for what they are good at is important -- even if it is stuff they don't want to do - - like putting dishes in the dish washer. At her work, people had a bad habit of not washing their dishes and putting them away. When she'd see one of the men doing it, she made a point of praising him, thanking him and letting him know how much she appreciated him. Now, they have no problem with the dishes.

So, I think as a single woman I can practice this skill of bringing goodness to my future husband but bringing goodness to the men and women in my life at work as well as with the men I date.

What things do you do to be a spring of goodness in your husband's life?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Ack! The Student Groups Are Coming!


Sometimes we wish we could cover things up to protect them from the student groups.

A few weeks back, I gave a tour to 50 some kids from a North Carolina high school. Because of the unruliness of school groups during our "shake down cruise" in 2007, the Marines at the desk have a schpeal they give to the groups. Its one of those "put the fear of God in you" kind of schpeals. I suppose it sets the stage for what you could expect from a Drill Instructor. Well, one of the parents thought it was kind of funny.

The Marine didn't think it was funny.

"Did I say something funny, ma'am?"

Oh, geez. Everyone shut up and paid attention.

I then get to be the good cop after that.

It has amazed us by what kids think is o.k. to do at a museum. It has amazed us more that parents have actually gotten upset with docents for telling them their kids are not suppose to climb on the tanks or into the displays. Now, I know the galleries are immersive - - but come on - - you don't scale the rocks on Tokton pass.

Well, the museum kicked out its first student group this weekend. 300 sixth graders from a local middle school ran amuck in the museum. They were climbing on the tanks - - and can you believe it -- - were caught 'riding' the war dog in the Vietnam gallery. The director of education had the school round their kids up and had them leave. Later in the day, the resource officer from the school returned to the museum. Our docent manager said he learned a 'resource officer' is actually a police officer assigned to the schools. The guy wanted to know if the museum wanted to press charges.

Well the museum declined pressing charges but told them the school was not welcome in the museum.

The school principal read the kids the riot act and called the museum director and apologized profusely. The entire class of 300 will be made to formally apologize to the museum staff.

I almost wish they could do some type of community service.

The sad thing, there are probably some kids who were really interested in the museum and weren't causing a problem and the rabble rousers ruined it for everyone. Oh, and you know, some parent will 'feel' their child doesn't need to apologize - - I mean what harm could a 6th grader do to a tank? Which of course isn't the point - - the lack of respect these kids had toward other guests and the artifacts is the real issue.

By the way, the plastic covered artifacts were not due to a student visit. They were cleaning the windows in Leatherneck Gallery and didn't want the cleaning solution to drop down on the displays. From my time in restoration, covering these things in plastic is an ordeal - - especially the Jenny (bi-plane in the back ground that is hanging from the ceiling.) You don't realize just how big these things are until you climb up on top of them. I was once left standing up in a toe hold on the HO3S Dragonfly because we ran out of staples for the plastic. The most dangerous part is climbing up and down on these things when you aren't familiar with them, so I opted to stay put until they returned with more staples. The First Sgt. climbed up on the opposite side to help me hold on.

"Now, I just want you to know, if you fall, I'm going to grab whatever I can of you, including your hair, " he said to me. (BTW, I had long hair then and always wore a pony tail)

"First Sgt, if I fall, I'm going to grab onto anything and everything as I go down and I don't care if I break stuff," was my reply. BTW, I didn't mean any disrespect to the aritifact, my life and limb is more important than breaking something off the machine. These artifacts are dangerous, which is why people shouldn't be climbing on them.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

An UnFailing Prize - - The P31 Woman

He will have no lack of gain. Proverbs 31:11

I've been a bit behind at blogging about the Proverbs 31 woman study my Bible study group is doing. We've had some great discussions. Just an FYI, since we have a confidentiality agreement in our Bible Study (what goes on in Bible Study or is said in Bible Study, stays in Bible Study) so I can only share my thoughts with you.


This chapter of Elizabeth George's book was entitled An Unfailing Prize. It highlighted how much P31 was about money and managing household assets. Married women who are able to manage household finances can take a load off their husbands' backs. The husband won't have to feel pressure to work harder to provide for the family.

In applying this to my life as a single woman (the queen dictating P31 to her son wants her son to find a SINGLE woman with these qualities) - - George points out that every decision we make about money honors God because it shows whether or not we are good stewards of God's bounty.

Now, having a discussion about money with a group of friends can open up a can of worms. Society places so much value on what kind of car we drive, do we own or rent a home, what part of town we live in, what kind of job we have, how much power we have in that job, etc., etc. With that said, I think we were able to have a very candid discussion about how we manage our money - - or don't.

One thing we all echoed was our desire that our families shouldn't be spoiled but shouldn't be wanting things that are necessary or enriching because we don't have the money. For me personally, I remember my mom flipping out because I needed new running shoes for track every year. Its important to get new shoes because you can get injuries if the padding and support has worn out. I was always told "We don't have the money."

Granted, the lessons I learned about earning my own money and paying for the extra things that were important for me were great. I also knew that my parents weren't going to bail me out. Now, I shared with my friends there have been a couple times I really could have used help and my parents didn't or couldn't come through for me. There is one situation I do harbor some bitterness - - and one of the gals point blank told me I need to let that bitterness go.

But anyway, the chapter was about practical ways we can manage our money better. For instance, paying bills on time, eliminating credit card debt, investing wisely. We all had our goals. For me, it is paying of my credit card. Thanks to Stryker's leg, I've got a balance I'd like to not have.

In the course of the discussion, we learned that one of the girls gives investment seminars. So we've asked her if she could do one for us this summer. One example she gave us was to look at our current banking situation. Were we being charged for things that other banks wouldn't? Were we getting the best interest rate we could?

What tips do you have for managing your family's finances?

Monday, May 12, 2008

Propaganda - - WARNING - - I'm Trying to Wash Your Brain

A couple weeks back, I read this article in USA Today about the Pentagon starting Foreign News Sites and how journalism groups were calling the sites a "deceptive effort to control message abroad." I gotta tell you this article got me hot. I think I spent my entire lunch hour writing my thoughts in the margins of the story.

About a year ago, I blogged on my old Yahoo 360 blog about the inability of the US and the US military to use the Internet to get their side of the story across - - the terrorists were sure good at it. This February, I spoke at length with Marine Corps combat correspondent legend, Norm Hatch, about this very topic (a future blog is in the making). Well, low and behold, the DoD has had such sites - - they were just under the radar of mainstream media. Those existing sites were:

Southeast European Times (target audience - - the Balkans) and Magharebia (target audience, North Africa).

This past October, Multi-National Force - Iraq, launched
Mawtani (target audience Iraq and the Middle East).

Are these sites a bad thing? I think its great! But all these media experts think its BAD! One expert says its "deliberate deception and weakens the image of journalism as an objective bystander".

Um, since when has a journalist been an objective bystander? Journalists have been spinning the news since the beginning of the profession.

The point is brought up that the target audiences are used to having their governments control their news. The US is the exception and these sites make it look like the US is like the rest of the world and controls the news media.

Clearly these journalism experts didn't pay attention in history class. World War I and II journalists were subject to censorship. That is unheard of today. Or is it? The first Gulf War saw the U.S. military controlling who was embedded with the troops, not necessarily the story that was told. Funny thing though, journalists who spend time with the troops, tend to report more favorably toward the military than journalists who are cozy and warm in the safe zones.

Are these sites propaganda. You betcha. All news is propaganda. Every news outlet has an angle - - no one is impartial. You can't be. If journalists were, the news would read like a police blotter, just the facts. Boring.

Small town American newspapers are slanted to that hometown. Boy, let me tell you, in small town America, if you write something against the local sports team - - they'll practically run you out of town. I learned this lesson when I was a sports reporter (yes, I was once a member of the hated mainstream media). The girls basketball team had lost another game. It was halfway through the season and they hadn't won one yet. I asked the coach for any comments on the game and she said, "I have nothing to say. I'll comment when they start playing better." Well, being a freshly minted journalism graduate, that was my lead sentence. Harsh, but it summed up the game. You can pretty much guess they lost. Needless to say the basketball coach refused to talk to me the rest of the season. There are other lessons in that quote as well. For instance, don't say anything to a journalist you wouldn't want printed.

Now, if there wasn't some journalistic integrity in these sites, and if the message was not slanted toward the interests of the local population, the first two sites wouldn't be getting a combined vistorship of 1.2 million a month.

I think mainstream media is having a difficult time finding the 'bad' in our involvement in Iraq - - and with competition.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Myanmar Air Lift, Anyone?

I just want to know why the heck the countries of the world don't do an old fashioned air lift ala Berlin?

Everyone is complaining about the fact that the military dictatorship will not allow all of the supplies to be delivered (might have something to do with the fact that they are re-packaging things to say they are coming from the generals in charge). So why don't we just swoop in and drop the supplies. Ooooo we don't want to invade their air space. I think the world will forgive us if we do that. I've read other analysts speaking about invading the country. The world would not forgive us for doing that. I think we should try the air lift first.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Parking a Liberty Truck

One of the great benefits of volunteering in the Restoration Division of the National Museum of the Marine Corps has been the opportunity to touch, and in some cases operate some of the vehicle artifacts.

One of the more difficult artifacts to "drive" was the Liberty truck.


Now, you are looking at this wreck and thinking - - um, yes, that would be difficult to drive. That is what is left of a truck they cannablized to create this. What do you think of my parking job? Yes, I know I could have straightened out my wheels.


Here I am in the driver's seat. This was taken on one of the coldest days in January 2007 (yes, over a year ago) and that is why I'm in the coat.


I have 'driven' this vehicle before. By driving it, I am usually being towed by a tractor or a fork lift and I have to steer. Which is difficult when they didn't have power steering OR automatic transmission back then. Yes, in order to get enough leverage to turn the stinkin' wheel, I had to stand-up in the front seat. I now understood why men didn't think women should drive.

Friday, May 2, 2008

World War 2 and Korean Veterans Museum Visit

As things usually go, I'm looking for one thing and find another. I found this video taken last year. The Marine giving the tour suffered a grave head injury in Iraq. When he started with us, he had a horrible jagged scard down the back of his head. Can't tell now. This Marine re-entered civilian life last summer.

The video is a group of World War 2 and Korean War veterans and their sons and grandsons.

I love meeting World War 2 veterans when they come the museum. We had a big group from Katy, Texas last weekend. One fellow came up to me and started telling me all about their weekend trip to DC and their time at the World War 2 monument. He commented on how many people stopped them and asked to have photos taken with them. He said he felt like a movie star.

I've been thinking, I should carry a digital tape recorder. They love to tell their stories. The fellow I spoke with was in the Navy and served for four years in Europe. I try to remember their stories and write them down here when I get home.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

New Things Are Coming!


The museum has entered its big fundraising push for Phase 2. They need to raise $85 million dollars in order to add additional gallery space to complete the circle.

Pictured below is the architect's rendering of what the museum and grounds will look like once complete. That big cheese wedge looking thing will be a large format theater that can seat 400 people. That will surely come in handy for OCS graduations as well as other special events. I'm envisioning movie nights with Marine Corps themed movies, for instance the actual documentaries shot by the Marine corps during WW2 and later, or real movies such as Sands of Iwo Jima.


Below is the floor plan. It really doesn't look like there will be much room for Post Vietnam - - I mean that covers a lot of years. I'm thinking they are going to have to start thinking about a supplemental building to cover 21st century conflicts. The BIG thing we need, that they have added, are additional restrooms.


Phase 1A build out begins this summer. They have submitted RFPs (Request for Proposals) for the construction portion of that work. They have also started setting up the temporary buildings that will house the docent work room, Marines' office and workroom, and exhibit staffs' office space. The new galleries going up in Phase 1A are: Halls of Montazuma (1775-1864), First to Fight (1866-1914), Every Marine a Rifleman (1915-1918). The gallery entitled, The Marines Have Landed (1919-1940) will be deferred until phase 2 is ready to be built.