This event ended up being a family affair!
This morning, Zeb, Brynnley and I woke up and headed over to the Warhawk Air Museum in Nampa, Idaho. We’ve been here several times, and my husband grew up volunteering here in his teens. We attend their annual Warbird Round-Up Air Show and it’s at the same airport as one of our favorite restaurants – The Tower Grill.
Once per month, the museum puts on an event called Kilroy Coffee Klatch. It’s a free gathering for veterans to enjoy coffee, pastries and a guest speaker or presentation.
This month, the presentation was of a short documentary that my husband put together about a local WW2 hero named Ernie Ferguson. There would be some introductory speakers that know Ernie’s story personally. Ernie, a 97 year old Marine veteran, was in attendance along with his family.
I reached out to one of the museum staff members and asked if I could volunteer in some capacity at the veterans’ coffee klatch. She said they are always happy to have volunteers so I arrived early with Zeb and Brynnley a little after 9am to see how I could help set up or serve any of their coffee or breakfast goodies.
Fortunately for them, they had an abundance of volunteers and had the majority of their needs already covered. Brynnley and I hung out until the event began at 10am chatting with some of the veterans. She made everyone she came in contact with smile!
The turnout was greater than I expected, and there were easily over 200 veterans in attendance. We began with the pledge of allegiance, general museum announcements, and then my husband’s friend Mike Reed kicked off the presentation with the history behind Ernie Ferguson’s service in the 1940s in the Pacific Island of Palau, and the background of their trip back to the island with him 75 years later in 2020. Ernie fought in the 1944 Battle of Peleliu, which resulted in the highest casualty rate in American history but protected the island from Japanese occupancy.
My husband was with them on the trip to Palau, capturing many of the moments with his camera and drone. He also sat down with Ernie to interview him on his military experience and put it all together in a short documentary that you can watch on YouTube. I highly recommend taking 17 minutes to watch!
It’s an incredible story! Though I’ve seen the video many times, it’s always fun to be around others watching it for the first time. And this audience had a very special appreciation for the content. Brynnley did great during the event, even though we stretched beyond her normal naptime.
This was a very respectable event to be a part of and contribute to for our local community and it was a patriotic family outing on this Tuesday morning!
I guess having too many volunteers is a good problem for an organization to have, so while I didn’t end up making much of an impact it was still a privilege to be a part of it. :)