I love history—especially war history. Like many of my generation, my grandfather was a World War 2 veteran. Some of my favorite boyhood memories include sitting at his feet while he smoked on pipe while he regaled my siblings and I with stories of his experiences fighting in the Pacific Theatre.
This love of history extended to my love of museums—especially the Oregon Military Museum.
The Oregon Military Museum is the official state storehouse for military weapons, documents, and artifacts relatingto the military history of the citizens of Oregon. “This collection of irreplaceable treasures defines Oregon’s military legacy and preserves it for future generations.”
In 2009, the Museum moved to a much larger building, providing the Museum “[W] ith unique opportunities to expand operations to better fulfill its mission. It also presents some challenges.”
Those challenges have created an opportunity of a lifetime for history buffs like me.
You see, the museum is currently undergoing renovations and to cover, or at least defray, the costs of renovating, the Museum is offering a unique experience to shoot some of the classic weapons on display here… for a handsome tax deductible donation of $200. The event: Guns and Guacamole.
I can’t wait! Not only will I get the chance to shoot such unique weapons as M3 Grease Gun,
M1928 A1Thompson,Belt-fed Browning .30,customized AR-15’s,vintage wheel -lock,vintage flint lock,class 3 M14,Model 1873 Trapdoor SpringfieldM3A1 Stuart Light Tank (Blanks only); but I will also get a tasty lunch.
This is it! This is going to be my chance to reenact the stories of my grandfather. I can see it now, strapping on the AR-15, taking a deep breath while sighting my target before gently depressing the trigger and destroying my target. A victory for the Allies, a victory for democracy, a victory of good over evil. I will be a hero. I will head home after a few years in the trenches, a hero, and my wife and I will soon after help to start the Baby Boom generation. I will go home a hero and someday, when my childrens’ children come and visit, I will share the stories and inspire in them a love of history.
To me, being able to walk, even for a moment in the Grandfather’s shoes: The greatest man of the Greatest Generation and to to be able to help preserve his legacy and memory alive; that is worth $200. The Oregon Military Museum is worth and the experience will be fun and memorable.
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