By Jerry Gilmartin, Chief Machinists Mate, USN, Ret; AFMM Board member
I represented Amphibious Forces Memorial Museum at the 2018 conference of HNSA, the Historic Naval Ships Association, at the Kitsap Conference Center in Bremerton. Here’s a summary of how we — and you — can help the mission:
Social Media: Who today does not use Facebook, Instagram, and email? Deck Log – Elsie Item is available online. Share it with friends and buddies who served our nation. Post it online or on bulletin boards in a clubhouse or veterans’ meeting place.
Collections and Archives: Where do we get items for the AFMM museum on board the LCI? Well, Rich and Marilyn Lovell are serious estate “sailors” on weekends and acquire items for the museum – or to trade for other items. Visitors to the LCI-713 in Portland donate items. Those who cannot get to Portland will tell us what they have and ask if we are interested. If so, AFMM will arrange to acquire the items and acknowledge its value to your estate. Here are some ideas.
Often, when veterans visit the LCI they open-up with stories about their naval service. At the HNSA conference a speaker from the Naval History and Heritage Command emphasized the importance of recording the veterans’ stories about their service. After all: who will remember the who, if not you?
Haze gray and underway: Topic A at AFMM board meetings is how to raise about $800,000 to put the ship into dry dock to get the hull repaired and engines re-installed?
AFMM has the steel plate and diesel engines. What AFMM does not have is $800,000. The HNSA speaker suggested that veterans discuss with family, and their estate or legal advisers, how to make a significant (and may we add) tax deductible gift to Amphibious Forces Memorial Museum. If you or a family member are still employed, ask if your employer rewards community service with cash incentives. Last year my employer contributed $10 for every hour of my community service and awarded AFMM $4,000.