"Serving those who served"
The Eagle
April 2015
Monthly Newsletter



In This Issue
Upcoming Events
Ex-POW day at the Museum
Pin-Ups on Tour
VIP Night at the Museum
Vietnam Exhibit Opening
Women's History Month
Volunteer of the Year
Women's Room Upgraded
New Artifacts
New & Returning Members
San Diego Ride for Vets
Arts for All & Arts for Veterans
Welcome to New Volunteers!
Quick Links
Current Exhibits
Our Sponsors

San Diego Economic Development & Tourism Support Program


Lynne C. Sanders Trust


CAPT & Mrs W. Hays


Legler Benbough Foundation


Int'l Assoc. of Machinists


San Diego Padres


Lockheed Martin



San Diego Gas & Electric

 a Sempra Energy Utility


Eagles Wings


San Diego Futures Foundation


Silverthorn Construction


The Thursday Club


The Thursday Club Juniors


Access Point Media Group




Vicki Nenner


Robert and Joyce Ettinger  


RDML & Mrs. R. C. Melendez


Mr. Dennis Schoville


Dr. Abe Shragge, Ph.D.


Dr. & Mrs. Tom Splitgerber


Homeland Magazine





Spirit of 45    

"A USA Veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to "America" for an amount of up to and including his or her life."  Thank active duty, veterans and their families.

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Sullivan Solar Power 

Sullivan donates $500 to our Museum with every sale from this ad.


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If you do not see the articles on the right, you need to see if your email system truncates the Eagle to accommodate your display. 

Look for this question on your display and allow your entire  Eagle to show!

" [Message clipped]  View entire message "

 We had a very successful March and are looking forward to April. Our first event of the month was our annual volunteer luncheon and we were thrilled to honor David Barbosa as our 2014 Volunteer of the Year! Volunteers keep the museum running and David is a shining example of dedication to the museum.


We were grateful to have a great turnout for Women's History day at the museum. This was the largest audience in the history of doing this event. We had an all-star lineup of women from various generations share stories and answer audience questions. There was even an unscripted moment when a 95-year old WWII Marine Corps veteran came to the stage and told her military story.


Looking to April, it will be another busy month. We are glad to support Pin-ups on Tour and are looking forward to their entertainment on April 24th and 25th...come on out to the show.


Our biggest event of April will be the opening of our BRAND NEW Vietnam exhibit. We will be opening the exhibit on April 30th with a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by Vietnam POW's and local MOH recipients. There will be a VIP night on April 29th for all members to view the exhibit before it opens.


If you want to attend the VIP night and need to renew your membership or become a new Museum Member, you can click below to get started.


Your membership also entitles you a reciprocal membership on the USS Midway. It is good for the person listed on the membership. 



(Donations are processed through www.justgive.org. By clicking on any donation link, you will be taken to a third party website.)


Hope to see you on your next visit to the Museum!


Sheldon L. Margolis

Executive Director

Upcoming Events! 



Here's what is coming to your Museum in the next 90 days:

  • April 14 - Free Admission Tuesday and Ex-POW Day at the Museum  
  • April 24 & 25 - Pin-ups on Tour Show (8 pm)
  • April 29 - VIP night for Vietnam exhibit opening (6 pm)
  • April 30 - Vietnam exhibit opens to the public. Ribbon cutting ceremony (11 am)
  • May 9 - San Diego Ride for Vets and Veteran Art Fair
  • Memorial Day weekend - numerous events each day
  • June 4 to 7 - 1942 Battle of Midway movie and dinner
Free Tuesday and Ex-POW Day at the Museum -  April 14th

The second Tuesday of each month is free admission at the museum for San Diego County residents. This month we are hosting a American Ex-POW Display Day. 

Meet Ex-POW's and hear their stories.

Click on the link to view more details: POW Display Day
PIN-UPS ON TOUR - A night like no other!     
April 24th & 25th at 8 PM

From the moment guests enter the event, they will be treated to something special. Our goal is to recreate the magic of the Hollywood Canteen that operated during the 1940's as a club offering dancing, drinks and entertainment for servicemen, usually on their way overseas. The evening will feature dancing Pin-Ups, Comedy, Variety Acts, Soulful Lounge singers, raffle-ticket selling beauties and more than a few surprises! With entertainment & atmosphere around every turn, guests will feel like they stepped into the 1940's.

This show is free for Veterans & Active Duty personnel to attend and $25 for civilians. Click on the ticket below to reserve your seat for the show!

And the best part?  Proceeds from the event go to benefit hospitalized Veterans and Deployed Troops!

Pin-ups For Vets was founded by the vivacious Gina Elise and raises funds to help veterans. The organization has been able to donate over $50,000 in rehabilitation equipment to VA Hospitals across the U.S.
Pin-ups needs to raise $3,000 cash or in-kind sponsorships to help cover the costs of the two performances in San Diego. These costs include the stipends and housing for seven performers, venue rentals, and production costs. As a 501(c)3 organization, all donations to their nonprofit is tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. 

Or contact Diane Schmidt at the Veterans Museum: diane.schmidt@veteranmuseum.org or (619) 239-2300.

Vietnam - A Retrospective on the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War

VIP night on April 29th


VMMC will host a VIP night on for all museum members and their guests. Get a behind-the-scenes look at the exhibit before it opens to the public the following day.


If you are a current museum member, please join us for event. It is free of charge and cocktails and appetizers will be served. VIP experience will be open from 6 to 8 pm.


If you can't make the VIP night or grand opening and want to support the project, you can donate to the exhibit. The total project will exceed $50,000 over the course of ten years and any donation will help to underwrite the cost of this new exhibit.


For your $100 or more donation, we will thank you with a one-year membership or extension of your existing membership.

You can send a check to:
Veterans Museum and Memorial Center
Attn: Vietnam Exhibit
2115 Park Blvd. 
San Diego, CA 92101 



All donations are tax-deductible and will be acknowledged by a letter from our Museum and you will be listed on our new gallery's website as a supporter.   Thank You!

Vietnam - A Retrospective on the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War

Opens April 30th


Coinciding with the 50th Anniversary of the beginning of the Vietnam War, the Museum is renovating existing spaces into a new gallery.


The brand NEW exhibit will open on  the 40th Anniversary of the Fall of Saigon. The exhibit will be dedicated to the men and women who served in this conflict and to tell the history and the stories of the San Diegans who were there.
The exhibit will open with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11 am on April 30th. Expected guests include former Vietnam POW's and local Medal of Honor recipients.


The Tarawa-class amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA-5) steams in the South China Sea.  US Navy Photo. 

The USS Peleliu (LHA-5) was decommissioned on March 31, 2015, after 35 years of Naval Service.  The 820-foot-long vessel, which called San Diego home,  deployed 17 times and steamed more than 1 million nautical miles.  Its final deployment ended last Christmas Eve when it pulled into San Diego Bay.


Petty officers HM1 Jennifer Kurneta and LN1 Shanna Todd, President and Vice President, of the USS Peleliu's First Class Petty Officer Association, presented the museum with a check for $1,372.52 to continue the museum's work in honoring the men and women who served in the US Armed Forces.

The museum wishes the First Class Petty Officer's Association and the crew of the USS Peleliu, fair winds and following seas, as they bid farewell to the Peleliu and report to their new assignments. 
RADM Melendez receives a check and mementos from the last day of the USS Peleliu on behalf of the museum from LN1 Todd(SW/AW) and HM1 Kurneta (SW/AW).
Military Women's History Month - Panelists shared stories











In honor of Military Women's History Month, the Museum hosted a special Women Veterans Discussion Panel. Enlisted and Officers from all branches of the military, combat veterans and many different eras shared their stories and answered audience questions.

Women's day panelists: Front row (l-r) Anne Marie Conte - Air Force, Nicole Heffel - Navy, Jamie Chacon - Coast Guard, Kalen Arreola - Army, top row (l-r) Dr. Patricia Reily (moderator), Billiekai Boughton - Army, and Olga Mireles - Navy.


WWII USMC veteran Vera Nelson recounts experiences at NAS San Diego and MCAF Santa Ana.

We had a special visit from a 95-year old WWII Marine who wanted to share her story too. She was one of the first ten women to report to NAS North Island.


It is women like this who paved the way for today's generation to serve. To quote one of the panelists, "We stand on the shoulders of giants."


We also heard the touching story of the mother of Army Specialist Sara Leatherman. Specialist Leatherman was a combat veteran who took her life five years ago. Her mother, Tammy is starting a project titled, "Boots Down the Street" in which she is collecting 22 pairs of combat boots for a display to represent the 22 veterans who commit suicide each day. To donate new or worn combat boots, contact Tammy at (619)793-6653 or at: myismk@yahoo.com 



VMMC Chairman of the Board Will Hays (L) and Executive Director Sheldon Margolis (R) present awards to our 2014 VMMC Volunteer of the Year, David Barbosa. 


The strength of any organization is in its people. We had the honor to recognize our outstanding volunteers at a recent luncheon. There were many deserving people to choose from those who work in the library, gift shop, as docents and collecting audio stories. For 2014, David Barbosa was selected as the Volunteer of the Year! David is an Army Veteran who served during Vietnam and has been volunteering at the museum for 3 years.  


Many people are not aware of three special volunteers who keep the museum running. We recognized Will Hayes, Rod Melendez and Sheldon Margolis for all their time and dedication they give to the museum. Each received a framed picture of the museum with special notes from all the volunteers and board members.



The Women's Exhibit will relocate from its current location to the new West Gallery in April.

wmhr MAR2015
New panels and exhibit displays in place for the Women in the Navy section in the Women's Military History Room.

In conjunction with the Women's History Day, the Women's Exhibit was upgraded with new posters, artifacts and stories.

Dr. Mary Walker is the only woman who was awarded the Medal of Honor; she recieved it for her service during the Civil War.


The exhibit tells the story of women in military service from the earliest of revolution times up through the current Southwest Asia.

Dr. Mary E. Walker served as assistant surgeon with Gen. Burnside's Union forces in 1862, and with an Ohio regiment in East Tennessee the following year. Imprisoned in Richmond, Virginia, as a spy, she was eventually released and returned to serve as a hospital surgeon at a women's prisoner-of-war hospital in Louisville, Kentucky. After the war, President Andrew Johnson awarded her the Medal of Honor. Walker is the only female to have been awarded this highest honor.


WWI MedalsNavy WWI LT Dental Corps Service Dress Uniform (left) and WWI era medals and badges donated by Marcy Beaty.

Photo of George Hart with is WWI Medals donated by Kathy Benson.  

Russian Sailor-2 Russian Sailor-1

Soviet Russian Petty Officer's Uniform donated by Marcy Beaty.   

Pamela Bailey of El Cajon donated five military books and five training manuals on radar, radios and refrigeration to the library.

Marcy Beaty of San Diego donated a collection of WWI Navy officer uniforms and memorabilia from CAPT Gerry Ballard, DC, USN/Ret, and a Soviet Russian Navy Petty Officer's uniform.  The WWI dentist's Service Dress uniform is on display in the Pacific Powerhouse Exhibit. 

Kathy Benson of San Diego donated a WWII scrapbook of clippings made by San Diego Nurse, Harriet Hart Draper and a photo and WWI medals and ribbons of her brother,  George J. Hart, who served with the 32nd Infantry Division in France.  His photo and medals are now on display in the WWI exhibit. 

Anna Curren of San Diego donated a signed copy of the book "We Band of Angles" about the Bataan nurse POWs experiences in WWII.

Bernard MacDonald of Lakeside donated an unused Army AN/PRS-4 Korean War/Vietnam War era mine detector and manual in their original box.  This will be on display in the Vietnam Exhibit opening April 30th. 

Carl Nelson of Chula Vista donated a Navy flag and a Homeward Bound Pennant with 17 stars.  The Navy flag is now on loan to the Auto Museum for their Centennial Exhibit on WWII. 

Clarence and Vera Nelson of Oceanside donated two cruise books from Naval Air Station San Diego - 1944,and Marine Corps Air Facility Santa Ana - 1952, and a collection of Marine Air Base -2 reunion books and memorabilia.

Monica O'Hara and WAVES National Unit 35 of San Diego donated a complete collection of WAVE Uniforms from YNCS Manoogian and DT3 Hood.  Including shoes, purses, hats, navy swimsuits, and accessories.  Some of this donation is now on display in the Women's exhibit. 

The Pacific Beach United Methodist Church donated a 6'x9' 48 star flag.  This flag is now on loan to the Auto Museum for their Centennial Exhibit on WWII. 

Donald Parks of La Mesa donated a collection of the recordings of the speeches of JFK, FDR, and Adolf Hitler, and 490 books on military and US history.

Katherine K. Tailor Foundation of San Diego donated four laminated maps of various war zones including Vietnam, Korea, and the Middle East.

Hazel Warlaumont of San Diego donated a collection of Army, Navy, and Marine Corps military pins. 




David E. Barbosa

Allen Beddoe Family


Richard N. Duffett*
Martha Lapore
Robert L. McCarty, II
Clarence Nelson*
Vera Nelson*
Andrew Sligar
Amanda Stickler


* Life Member 


Your annual membership dues support our Museum and provide a tangible way for San Diegans to say thank you to Veterans for their service.  


Members receive:  

  • free access to our Museum and participating partner museums (USS Midway Museum)
  • access to our Military History Reference Library 
  • discounts for special events & the gift shop
  • invitations to special receptions
  • exhibit openings & activities  
Life Members Benefit

Are you 80 years old... or more?  Congratulations!  Celebrate your service and patriotism and become a Life Member! This includes Honor Flight Veterans!  Call us now to get your Complimentary Life Membership.


Become a Member easily online at our website, in person at the Museum, or just call our office.


Click on Membership Application or call (619) 239-2300. 

San Diego Ride for Vets - May 9, 2015

The Veterans Museum will be a stop on the San Diego Ride for Vets and will host the Veteran Art Vendor Fair throughout the entire day.

Over 250 motorcycle riders will be participating in a run from the Leatherneck Aviation Museum to Mount Soledad, the Veterans Museum and end at San Diego Harley.

A Veteran Art Vendor Fair will take place in the Memorial Garden, 10 am to 4 pm.

To register for the ride, visit www.loveamazinglyproductions.com.
Arts for All & Arts for Veterans                              
The second Tuesday of every month, Tony the Vet holds two free sessions. From 2-4 pm, children and families are invited to make cards for veterans and view a free puppet show.
From 6-8 pm, our Museum hosts free creative art classes (literary, performing and visual arts) or veterans. These classes are facilitated by Tony LoBue, Veteran, artist, and teacher of the creative arts and will include guest artists and speakers.

To register, contact Tony at (619) 806-2075 or email: tony@tonythevet.org. 
Welcome to our new volunteers and still seeking more!!

The Veterans Museum & Memorial Center is thrilled to welcome Randy Allen as a new Docent and Barbara Riis as a Membership volunteer.


The Veterans Museum and Memorial Center (VMMC) is seeking individuals who will assist us in maintaining our mission of honoring the men and women who served their country in the U.S. Armed Forces and Wartime Merchant Marine. Military experience is not required.


A commitment of 4 hours per month for at least 4 months is highly desired. The benefits of volunteering at VMMC are museum discounts, the opportunity to meet others with similar interests and to meet visitors from all over the world, the opportunity to learn new skills, and a sense of well-being by honoring U.S. veterans.


Volunteer Opportunities: Docent: Museum Tour Guides; Library: Archives & grant writing; Gift Shop: Cashier & Stocking; Office Support: Telephone & Clerical; Events: Set up & break down; Special Projects: Exhibits/displays, cleaning, repairs; Membership: Phone solicitation, member follow-up; Development: Fundraising; Outreach: Civil functions, speaker bureau, school visits; and Construction: Museum renovation projects.


Email vmmc.events@pacbell.net or call 619-239-2300 for more information on our Volunteer Program.

San Diego County is home to the largest concentration of military activity in the world with 137,000 active duty military personnel, 230,000 veteran residents.  Additionally, we have the largest discharged Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom (OIF/OEF) veteran population in this Nation with about 38,000 recent war veterans (9% of discharged recent warriors). Moreover, there are 110,000 OIF/OEF veterans currently calling the State of California their home. 


Your Veterans Museum honors the men and women who served in the US Armed Forces (Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Coast Guard) and Wartime Merchant Marine with exhibits and displays, ceremonies, educational programs, a Veterans Oral History Project, and a Military History Research Library.  We preserve the Veteran's contributions and experiences for future generations!    



Holly Shaffner
Dan DeMarco and Rod Melendez
Technical Advisory Board    
Diane Schmidt
Editorial Board