What a spectacular month we had in July! When the temperatures heated up, people came to the museum to get out of the sun and took in a little bit of history!

As I look for new ways to keep our doors open, we are pleased to partner with local performing arts and last month we debuted, "Walking in the Shadows of August Martin" which was very well attended. This month we are hosting auditions for the American History Theatre. They are developing three performances and one of them will come to YOUR museum in December!

We were so very honored to help the Los Angeles French Consulate General recognize 10 outstanding WWII heroes with the French Legion of Honor medal. The ceremony was  patriotic and moving for these WWII vets who have long returned home from WWII but have never forgotten their military time in France.

And looking into August, it is all about our WWII vets as we host Spirit of `45 - the National Day of Remembrance for the end of WWII. The day grows each year as the numbers of WWII vets decreases. This is our largest event of the year, so please come out to meet The Greatest Generation as they celebrate their Greatest Day!

Captain Sheldon Margolis 
USN (Retired) 
President and CEO

What's going on at your museum? (Museum events or museum partners)

  • Aug. 2: Yoga for Vets (9 a.m. to 10 a.m.)
  • Aug. 2: American History Theatre auditions (7 p.m.)
  • Aug. 3: Movie day at the museum - Boomtown (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.)
  • Aug. 3: American History Theatre auditions (7 p.m.)
  • Aug. 9: Yoga for Vets (9 a.m to 10 a.m.)
  • Aug. 9: Free Tuesday admission to the museum for San Diego County residents
  • Aug. 9: Arts for All (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.) and Arts for Veterans (2:30 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m.)
  • Aug. 9: Movie day at the museum - Big Country (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.)
  • Aug. 14: Spirit of `45 Day at the museum (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.)
  • Aug. 16: Yoga for Vets (9 a.m. to 10 a.m.)
  • Aug. 16: Arts for Veterans (2:30 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m.) 
  • Aug. 16: Movie day at the museum - Shane (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.)
  • Aug. 16: Yoga for Vets (9 a.m. to 10 a.m.)
  • Aug. 23: Movie day at the museum - Tombstone (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.)
  • Aug. 23: Arts for Veterans (2:30 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m.) 
  • Aug. 27: United Veterans Council meeting (9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.)
  • Aug. 27: San Diego County monthly veterans memorial service (noon)
  • Aug. 30: Yoga for Vets (9 a.m. to 10 a.m)
  • Aug. 30: Arts for Veterans (2:30 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m.) 
This month 
Spirit of `45 Day at the Veterans Museum - Sunday, August 14 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

This year is the 71st Anniversary of "The Greatest Generation's Greatest Day" - August 14, 1945 - the day World War II ended. Please join us in this nationwide celebration that honors WWII veterans for their service and sacrifice and celebrates their achievements. 
In addition to a formal program, there will be a 25-piece orchestra playing the music from the 1930's, 40's and "Swing Era" and swing dancing. WWII veterans will be on deck to share their stories.  Last year we had 1,000 people attend this event including over 100 WWII veterans!

10 a.m.: Doors open
11 a.m.: Music begins
Noon: Formal program begins 
1 p.m.: Stories in the shade with WWII Vets
Come out to meet and interact with Pearl Harbor survivors, Rosie the Riveters, nurses and hometown heroes, including a 104-year old WWII veteran!

To make this event a success, we are in need of volunteers and monetary and in-kind donations. Please contact Daniel DeMarco at (619) 569-6230 or via email: dan.demarco1@gmail.com with any questions.

To give to this important event and keep it going for future years, Click Here! and put Spirit of '45 on your memo line.

For more information on Spirit of `45:  Click here!
American History Theatre now conducting auditions Aug. 2 & 3 and call backs on Aug. 4!
Come on, come all!! Open auditions for this fall's performances! Prepared monologues accepted and cold readings required by all. This Tuesday and Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Written by: P. Paulette MacDougal, Directed by: Hal Berry

The World War II story of a young Army nurse, directly out of Nursing School, commissioned as a Second Lieutenant, and sent to the Philippines. She arrived in the Philippines just after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. In the ensuing months, she and thousands of others struggle to survive the daily bombardments and advancing army of the enemy. 

It is a story of heroism, courage and patriotism. It is also the story of what War does to men and women forced to endure the constant stress of life and death combat. First produced by AHT in late October and early November of 2015, the play was so well received, organizations wanted to see it performed for special events. The author gave permission to cut the two-hour, four person cast, down to the main character, Anne Lou Holsom. The cut version runs about 50 minutes.

Written by: Laura Annaywn and Directred by: Hal Berry

In 1984, the empty birth home of Amelia Earhart was purchased by the Ninety-Nines, an International Organization of Women Pilots. Fundraisers and donations helped to turn the home into a small museum to honor Amelia Earhart and the first generation of female aviators through educational and interpretive exhibits, activities and events.

The play opens with Amelia Earhart flying over the Pacific Ocean in her Lockheed Electra 10E attempting to complete an around-the-world trip. She is heading for Howland Island from which she will refuel and take off for South America. From there, she will return to the United States having completed the trip. In an age of aviation competitions and firsts, danger was an accepted reality.
With the Electra over 800 miles into the Pacific from its last refueling stop in Lae, New Guinea, she realizes that her gas is running low and she is having problems communicating by radio to the United States Naval ship the Itasca. As she struggles to continue, she relives the precious memories passing before her eyes.

Written by: Neil Simon and Directed by: Taberah Joy 

An all female version - Felix Ungar, a neurotic, neat freak newswriter (a photographer in the television series), is thrown out by his wife, and moves in with his friend Oscar Madison, a slovenly sportswriter. Despite Oscar's problems - careless spending, excessive gambling, a poorly kept house filled with spoiled food - he seems to enjoy life. Felix, however, seems utterly incapable of enjoying anything and only finds purpose in pointing out his and other people's mistakes and foibles. 

Even when he tried to do so in a gentle and constructive way, his corrections and suggestions prove extremely annoying to those around him. Oscar, his closest friend, feels compelled to throw him out after only a brief time together, though he quickly realizes that Felix has had a positive effect on him.

Performances of the first two productions will be at the Women's Museum of California in Sept and October and The Odd Couple will show at The Veterans Museum in December.

For more information about American History Theatre:  Click here!
Last month 
Walking in the Shadows of August Wilson

This month the museum was proud to welcome director, producer, actor, and teacher, Antonio TJ Thompson, to the museum as he presented his play " Walking in the Shadows of August Wilson", directed by Joe Powers. 

Thompson's play chronicled the way in which famous African American playwright, August Wilson, affected his own personal journey as a Soldier, veteran, actor, writer and teacher. Through the years, Thompson has not only acted in plays by Wilson, but taught acting classes and classes on diversity with Wilson as the primary theme. 

Throughout this particular production, Thompson single-handedly played various roles originally developed by Wilson, with his own personal commentary as to why each of these roles were important and so meaningful. The main theme that carried through each scene, and that the audience carried home with them, was that we are all connected in the most intricate of ways, searching for our own special song in the characters that we meet each day in an effort to be the best person possible. 

The museum partnered with Cygnet Theater as part of their recent program "Cygnet Serves", which identifies unique ways in which the theater can benefit and better reach the veteran community.  Thompson, a Vietnam Veteran himself,  now works with service members with addiction issues through Alcoholics Anonymous and other programs. The production of "Walking in the Shadows of August Wilson" hosted at the Veterans Museum at Balboa Park was a veteran-adapted rendition, which was well-received by the veterans who attended. We were proud to be a part of Cygnet's program and to host such talent at the museum! 
French Legion of Honor awarded to 10 local WWII heroes!

We were so honored to host a well-deserved ceremony for 10 local WWII heroes who were awarded the French Legion of Honor - France's highest military honor. 

Since 2004, the 60th Anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy, the French government has been awarding limited numbers of the French Legion of Honor, their highest award, to living WWII veterans with honorable service in France before May 8, 1945. In recent years the number of awards has significantly increased and the program is now open to all living honorably discharged WWII veterans who can provide proof of service in France. Service must have been on the ground in French territory, air space or territorial waters. The award is not presented posthumously. Those living veterans who have records worthy of consideration must have their documentation submitted to their nearest French Consulate addressed to the attention of Veterans Affairs.

For specific information on the nearest French Consulate, their requirements, and areas of coverage, visit the French Embassy website at: http://ambafrance-us.org and click on "The Embassy" button on the upper left and then on the "Consulates" button for a map of the consulate regions. Those approved for the award will receive notification through their local French Consulate. It can take up to 4-6 months or more to submit and receive final approval. FOR VETERANS LIVING IN SOUTHERN
submit requests to Consulate General of France, ATTN Veterans Affairs, 10390 Santa
Monica Blvd Suite 410, Los Angeles, CA 90025.

To view the ABC Channel 10 report and hear from these heroes,  Click Here!
Museum News
November is around the corner - Veteran of the Year nominations are being accepted electronically!

Prior San Diego County VOY's congratulate newly-selected Ed Berger in November 2015
The website is open now to start submitting YOUR deserving Veteran for this recognition!

One of the best times each November is honoring all the military veterans, active duty and reservists throughout the U.S. during Veteran's Day events. In San Diego County we have have about 240,000 veterans and one will be chosen to be the next Veteran of the Year and another veteran will be selected as the Lifetime Supporter of Veterans. 

The selection panel will also choose a San Diego County non-profit organization and for-profit organization of the year as well. Past attendance shows about 300 people will attend the luncheon and there are ranging opportunities to be a sponsor of the program.

The luncheon will be held on Friday, November 6 at the Scottish Rite Center in Mission Valley and all four categories will be announced then.  To find the NEW and improved nomination form, Click Here!

The deadline to submit nominations is October 1. 
For more information, contact Will Hays, VOY committee chair at: chairman_vmmc@pacbell.net or (619)239-2300
June - July 2016
Lisa Arnold of San Diego donated a wood and glass display case that will be used to display recent museum acquisitions at the entrance of the museum .

New Acquisitions Case now at the entrance to the museum donated by Lisa Arnold of San Diego.
French Verdun Medal-F French Verdun Medal -B
Front and back of the WWI French Verdun Medal donated by Marcy Beaty.
Marcy Beaty of San Diego donated a WWI era full dress Navy officer's cocked hat and epaulets in a leather carrying case. Two shirt collars, a full dress wing collar, suspenders, sword belt, gloves, bow tie, a collection of WWI campaign ribbons, and assorted buttons, pins and period artifacts from her husband, CAPT Gerry Ballard, DC, USN.

Elithe Belofsky of San Diego
donated her WWII USO Entertainers jacket with 69 unit patches from the men and units that the all-girl Symphonettes orchestra played for in the Pacific and Europe. You can now see the jacket in the Women's Military History Gallery.  Elithe will be attending our Spirit of `45 event on August 14 and you can hear her stories first hand .

uso jacket-F uso jacket-B
Elith Belofsky (left) wearing her USO jacket, c. 1946.

Kenneth Brooks of San Diego donated one Service Dress Khaki uniform and three Service Dress Blue uniforms from LCDR Lew Roman Lewincki who served in the Navy from 1944 to 1964.
Henry Echlin of San Diego donated his collection of photographs, documents, and artifacts from his WWII service with the Army Air  Corps in West Africa.  His photo albums will be posted on line as part of our online Library Catalog collection and can be viewed at: veteranmuseum.pastperfectonline.com and search for "Album".
Henry Echlin with a British ENSA (Entertainment National Service Association) entertainer on the Gold Coast in Southwest Africa (Left), and on the river with fellow Army Air Corps personnel, c. 1943.

Melissa Hays of Albion CA donated a WWII hammock and mattress belonging to her father, Harry Absolum Hays used onboard the USS President Polk enroute to Guadalcanal during WWII. Also a collection of photographs, letters and information about Harry and the role of CASU-11 in the Pacific during WWII.
The Aviation Metal Smiths of CASU-11 on Guadalcanal to repair damaged aircraft.
Donated by Melissa Hays of Albion, CA, c. 1943 

Pete Houben of San Diego
donated a collection of army photos of action in Vietnam.
Thea Landesberg of Ridgewood, NJ donated a 1898 Boston Herald Newspaper with a cover story on the Spanish American War.
Sam McGovern of Lemon Grove donated a complete set of the dictionary of the American Fighting Ships series for the library.
John McKinley of Coronado donated Photos and documents from his service in Vietnam, Photos & documents from USS Paul Revere (APA-248), Photos & Documents of Swift Boats, Coastal Divison 13, and Photo & Documents of USS Rupertus (DD-851).
Jeff McNicholl of San Diego donated a 1/350 scale model of USS Enterprise (CVN-65) in a glass case. Jeff McNicholl built the model and case in 1995-96 while on recruiting duty at Naval Recruiting Station, Security, CO. The model was displayed at the recruiting station until 1997.

48" long USS Enterprise (CVN-65) 1/350th scale, c. 1990, built by Jeff McNicholl

Michael Meacham of San Diego donated photographs and artifacts of WWII Seabee Coxswain Paul R. Meacham who served with the 4th Special Naval construction Battalion.
Michele Nelson of La Jolla donated the artifacts of John H. "Hank" Johnson, who served on the USS Pensacola in the 1930s and in the Navy during the 1930s-50s.
USS Pencasola
USS Pensacola CA-24, Antwerp Belgium c. 1934

Hays Vfw
John Johnson's VFW & BPOE membership cards, c. 1938 & 1945.

Mary Polins of Murrietta
donated a collections of 1950 era photographs of the crew, the USS Manchester (CA-73), and a variety of navy ships and ports from that era.  Two Navy photographs seen below are from a collection given to veterans at a USS Manchester reunion attended by her father.
Task Force 77 - Korea
Task Force 77 refuels off Korea

USS Manchester (CA-83) c. 1951

Jack Porath of La Jolla donated a large collection of boxed military medals including the Distinguished Service Cross (Army), Navy Cross, Air Force Cross, Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, Medal for Merit (Civilian Award 1944-1952), Distinguished Flying Cross Medal, Legion of Merit, Soldiers Medal, Airmans Medal, and Purple Heart.
Noreen Sullivan of Sierra Madre, CA donated a unique Saint Christopher Medal was originally given to Jerry Slater who carried it throughout WWII as a talisman and continued to wear it until he passed away in 1976. He passed it on to John Sullivan, Noreen's father. The Medal is surrounded by a silver tire with wings extending from each side.

Jerry Slater's St. Christopher Medal he wore during WWII and for the following 34 years, donated by Noreen Sullivan of Sierra Madre, CA.

Howell Steinsiek of San Diego donated an envelope mailed on July 1, 1946 and stamped "Atomic Bomb Test" and an envelope dated September 2, 1945. He also included the history of the USS Saint Mary's engagement in WWII, written by the crewman, Harry S. Brown.
Francis Tepedino of San Diego donated a fully rigged 1/94th scale model of the USS Constitution now on display on the stage in the main gallery.

USS Constitution build by Francis Tepedino.

Ervin Wells Jr. of San Diego donated a photograph of his father, Ervin Wells Sr., who served at Camp Callan with Battery D, 55th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Training Battalion and a souvenir menu from their 1943 Thanksgiving Dinner.  Camp Callan had a unique badge that was worn on the lapel and hat by enlisted soldiers, it was a Green Torry Pine Tree on a Red Background and can be seen in the photo below.
Wells Sr. Camp callan
Pfc Ervin Wells Sr. at Camp Callan, c. 1943.  He wears the Camp Callan Torry Pine Tree badge on his lapels and Hat.

1943 Thanksgiving Dinner Menu lists the menu and all the members of the unit.

Leslie Wenzel of Chula Vista donated artifacts from her husband, Richard P. Wenzel, who served in the Navy in WWII. She also included documents and photographs from Tientsin China at the end of WWII.
Shop Amazon Smile and proceeds support 
YOUR museum!

Did you know that you can support the Veterans Museum every time you shop online at Amazon.com by signing up with AmazonSmile?  It is a simple and automatic way for you to support the Veterans Museum at no cost to you. By signing up and shopping at smile.amazon.com, you'll find the exact same low prices with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to the Veterans Museum.
To shop at AmazonSmile simply go to smile.amazon.com from the web browser on your computer or mobile device with your existing Amazon.com account or create a new account.  You will need select the charity of you choice and we encourage you to type in and select "The Veterans Museum and Memorial Center".  Amazon will remember your selection and then every eligible purchase you make at smile.amazon.com will result in a donation to our museum. How cool is that? And with the holidays quickly approaching, what an easy way to support those who support our military! 
You may also want to add a bookmark to smile.amazon.com to make it even easier to return and start your shopping at AmazonSmile.

Shop Amazon Smile HERE!
FREE Creative Arts for the public - Drop-ins welcome!
Main Hall of  The Veterans Museum at Balboa Park

Craft Kits:  Dave Gilmore, Craft Care Specialist, Help Hospitalized Veterans chulavista@hhv.org
  Puppetry and Storytelling:  Valerie Broesch ( Val's Furry Fun Puppets) at  valsfurryfunpuppets@gmail.com
9AM-1PM Saturdays 13, 20 & 27 AUGUST
Free Bronze Casting and Sculpting:
California Sculpture Academy
300 E. Alvarado
Fallbrook CA 92028
  Steve Dilley, MFA Artist/Educator/Director http://www.vetart.org steve@vetart.org
Escondido Municipal Gallery
262 E. Grand Ave
Escondido, CA 92025
Art Expo  "Red, White and Blue: Local Color for Veterans"
  Chrisanne Moats, Director
Anthony A. LoBue
Juror, Judge and Facilitator:
Make-A-Card for VA Patients!
Make It & Take It "Story" Puppet!
Collage, Poetry, Sculpting, Performance Art and more!
2:30PM-4PM TUESDAYS 16, 23 & 30 AUGUST
Lower Level Library
The Veterans Museum at Balboa Park

PURPOSE: Create, Maintain and Develop Partnerships, Projects and Proposals for Funding to Engage, Educate, Entertain and Empower Veterans and Community in the Creative Arts (Literary, Performance and Visual) for their Pleasure, Profit and Healing.
Discussion Topics:
Community Partnership Development:
Clairemont Act One
Escondido Arts Partnership / Municipal Gallery The PGK Dance Project/CAC Grant Vets Community Connections Westwind Brass
Projects and proposals:
Artist in Residence
Fellowships & Scholarships
Interns & Volunteers
Story Corps and  National Veterans Creative Arts Festival 2017
10am-12pm Saturday 20 August
Main Hall
The Veterans Museum at Balboa Park
Cat Chiu Phillips, MFA Artist and Educator http://www.catchiuphillips.com/
Collaborative: Veterans & Public
Tapestry: Wall Hanging
E-waste: Cell phones & cables
Handicraft: Crochet & Braiding
Images: 7 seconds/7 days
Lower Level Conference Room
The Veterans Museum at Balboa Park

Instructors: Anthony A. LoBue & Surprise Guest Artists:
* Literary (Flash Fiction, playwriting and poetry)
* Performance (acting, puppetry and storytelling)
* Visual (collage, coloring, Make-A-Card for VA patients and sculpting) And more!
ATTENTION arts lovers! FREE TIX4VETS to Literary, Performance and Visual arts activities and events are available from time to time on short notice. First come/first serve. RSVP now!
Contact: AA "Tony the Vet" LoBue
Cell: 619-806-2075
Arts Director@ VMBP
[All events subject to change without notice.]
Stories from the Archives
WAVE Recruiters went the extra mile in WWII -  Bullfrogs to Buttermilk
WAVES Recruiting Poster from WWII, National Archives.
One WAVES's story of how she got into the Navy: 
     "My sister and I were brought up on a small California farm and lived in a rather protective environment.  We went to college in Fresno, so this allowed us to come home on weekends.  Thus my parents were dubious about their daughters joining the Navy. 
     As a result, I agreed to wait until I was 21 years old.  The recruiting officer, a beautiful and cultured woman, and two other WAVE recruiters came to my home to win over my parents and to swear my friend and me into the Navy. 
     They helped my brothers milk the cows (Sis and I steered clear of the dairy) and caught, skinned and cooked bullfrog legs.  The latter totally won my father's heart since he could not get his daughters to even touch the hideous things.  Not only did he give his blessings on my joining but also let my younger sister enlist, saying if these women were examples of the WAVES, he would be proud to have his daughters in the service."

Reprinted from a booklet of collected stories from the WAVES National Association and now in our library .   
2nd Annual San Diego GI Film Festival!
September 14-18, 2016

The GI Film Festival San Diego is back for a second year from Wednesday, Sept. 14 through Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016. The annual GI Film Festival San Diego will feature a variety of films for, about, and by service men and women, preserving the stories of America's armed forces through cinema. Festival organizers say this year's selection of films depict incredible stories that have gone under the radar. Themes range from the experiences of prisoners of war to living with survivor's guilt. Major wars covered in the films span from World War II to the present day conflicts.
The film festival kicks off with the 2016 documentary, "USS Indianapolis: The Legacy." This thrilling retelling of the fate of the World War II heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis exclusively uses first-person accounts from more than 30 survivors of the devastating torpedo attack. The film took 10 years to make with more than 104 interviews completed. Local filmmakers, Sara Vladic and Melanie Capacia Johnson, are thrilled to have their film kick-off the GI Film Festival San Diego.
"Helping to keep the legacy of the USS Indianapolis alive has been one of the greatest honors of my life," said Vladic. "And having the support of the survivors, their families, and the families of those who were lost at sea has meant everything along this 15-year journey. Now, being able to share this incredible story with our home town, and doing so on the opening night of the festival, just makes it all the more special. It's an honor to be selected by the GI Film Festival San Diego to help us share the true story of the USS Indianapolis and her crew."
To learn more about all the films for this year's event, Click Here! 

Honor Flight San Diego needs your help!
Honor Flight San Diego raises money each year to take WWII veterans to Washington, D.C. to visit THEIR memorials. For some it is their first time to Washington and for some it is their last. The last trip was in May and when they returned home to a heroes welcome, the WWII veterans were in tears and one remarked, "This was the best weekend of my life."
Photo credit: Dian Self

The next trip to Washington, D.C. on September 30th and the need is URGENT to  find donors to help support this trip.  Honor Flight San Diego is proud to have flown 983 veterans since their founding in 2010. There are  more than 1200 WWII on the Southern California waiting lists - waiting to have the best weekend of their life. The mission is urgent.

Every bit helps to send a WWII veteran on this trip. To donate or to find out more information, Click Here! 

SeaWorld San Diego offers FREE admission to military veterans (and up to 3 guests)!

SeaWorld® San Diego is honoring the men and women who have previously served as members of the U.S. armed services with a special admissions program.  Now through September 5th, veterans can log on register for complimentary admission for themselves and up to three additional guests. Tickets must be redeemed by December 25, 2016
Veterans must register online at www.WavesofHonor.com in advance, and verify their proof of service through the ID.me qualification process.  SeaWorld is working with ID.me to provide an online verification of former military personnel in a secure and privacy-enhancing manner.

Once veterans and their guests have registered online, they can bring their e-tickets directly to the park's entrance turnstiles. 
To register for your free tickets, Click Here!
Know someone who would like to see this email?
To donate to the museum:
The Veterans Museum at Balboa Park, 2115 Park Blvd., San Diego, CA 92101
| (619)239-2300 | info@veteranmuseum.org | www.veteranmuseum.org