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Getting Youth Involved In Our Hobby

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#26 Garandomatic

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Posted 13 January 2019 - 03:26 PM

Say... my beard's getting purty grey....

#27 Thor996

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Posted 13 January 2019 - 03:43 PM

I was REALLY interested in all things military when I was a kid, a lot of my friends dads we're WW2 vets, my uncle an atomic vet, another uncle was at Padderborn and wounded in a mortar barrage, and my grandpa watched world at war every Saturday and I read all kinds of books and comics [DC titles I'm sure many of you know] BUT I certainly wasn't allowed by my parents to collect military stuff as a kid -ANY of it- because my mom was a 60s pacifist leftover, so my chances of asking dad to take me to a gun show were well, I don't have to tell ya..  and by the time I was able to collect stuff that interested me like militaria, I was on married and  raising a young child at the age of 19 -SO for a long long time I had no money either to spend on it even as a young adult... So I get where some of you youngsters are coming from.... I think keeping kids interested in military history is very important and I think this hobby has a lot to give to make sure the legacy of these valiant men and women lives on but its up to all of us individual collectors to keep that going so when you meet someone who is young, don't run them off cuz they can't afford this or that but encourage them and give some stuff to them..and help them to understand that its not just 'stuff' and 'junk' but pieces of history in their hands..


I have a young friend who I met at church. He's a young teen now- when I first met him he was 12 years old. He was sitting at the table with all us adults [and his parents] after mass one day and I had just flown on a B-24 bomber. My wife was showing his parents and some of the other adults the photos I took on the plane and he saw the plane and piped right in and started talking up a storm about WW2. My wife turned to him and said 'oh talk to dave about that he's the WW2 history nut' . Long story short this young kid AMAZED me with his knowledge of WW2 - flat out floored me when he started telling me about the USS Indianapolis- Most kids his age can't even tell you where the city is never mind the history of the ship....well it was right there that this youngster was put on my [with his parents approval -His mom said 'oh you don't have to do that for him' but we insisted] Christmas list -Really was funny coincidence [if you believe in coincidence I don't]  too cuz that same summer we were actually attending our first USS Indianapolis reunion.Well we went and we got him a few books on the Indy, and 317 [the one that has their stories compiled and autographs from survivors who attended the reunion]...and then I even threw in some patches and a real USS Indy newspaper from the 36 Roosevelt Cruise...I got a card back from him [written in cursive too] thanking me up a storm for all the cool stuff and how the Indy paper is the centerpiece of his new collection :) A smart kid with manners too! :)  and could I please next time put a bit more WW2 mail in it cuz he really enjoyed reading how the men felt off fighting the war in their own words...  What a gift giving that box was for me...


well ever since then a gift goes out at Christmas and its one of my favorite boxes to make up and I throw in some soldier or sailor correspondence, and a whole bunch of ww2 patches and some other insignia and assorted goodies and off to this kid they go... I enjoy boxing up stuff and sending to my young friend, his mom and dad get a kick out of how this newly minted rag picker takes his box of insignia to his room and studies it for hours on end...


[ next up i think I will be getting him a gift subscription to ASMIC, I admire guys like Bill Scott who give patches away to young kids to get them interested... and keep them interested.... so in my own limited way I try to do it too when I run across some young prodigy...

Edited by Thor996, 13 January 2019 - 03:51 PM.

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