When I was a kid, my dad would take my brother, David, and I to the National Museum of the Air Force. We marveled at the size of the planes and dreamed of one day becoming pilots ourselves. David became an engineer for Honda, but I joined the Air Force, and was stationed at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, where I deployed to Iraq, Kuwait, and Qatar.
I’ve been back to the museum several times over the years, and I’ve seen exhibits about both the World Wars, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War, but I wanted to go back now as a veteran, and see how my military service is represented.
I met museum curator and Air Force veteran, Doug Lantry, who said people come here from all over because this place isn’t just a museum.
“This place is valuable because it serves as a memorial,” says Lantry. “People want to come here to memorize the service and sacrifice of their relatives that have died in service, or have served and gone elsewhere. So we need to pay attention to both of those tings. We’re both a museum and a memorial.”
Read and here this Veterans’ Voices commentary by Matt Bauer on WYSO.org.