On Thursday afternoon, April 24, 2014, Mr. Robert Beach, of the Hampton Roads Scale Modelers Club help me transport the exhibit elements from my house to Scope Arena in downtown Norfolk. I proceeded to set up the exhibit that afternoon and man it until Scope closed that evening. The exhibit was manned for all performances on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, including special performances for local school children (over 6,000 of them) as well as special activities for local school band competitors.
On the plaza outside of Scope was a traveling Vietnam Wall exhibit, “The Wall of Healing”, several Vietnam era helicopters, Vietnam veteran commemorative groups, Fleet Reserve Association Post 166, and others. In my exhibit, there was a photo board showing the SNA Hampton Roads chapter and the Hampton Roads Scale Modelers Club, both sponsors of the Tidewater Association of Applied Navy/Marine Corps Heritage and History, a recognized Vietnam 50th Anniversary Commemorative Partner. I also had membership applications available for SNA and the modelers club for anyone interested. I also had permission from Mr. John O’Brien to use excerpts and photos from his book, Hardest Job in the U.S. Navy Seabees: A Memoir by John R. O’Brien Vietnam Veteran_.
I received very cordial and helpful reception from the Scope event volunteer staff. During each program there were VIP representatives from the Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Army and Coast Guard as well as community and elected officials. The exhibit was well received by the veterans, the public and officials. I do not yet have an estimate of the number of people in attendance.
If anyone has any questions, please feel free to contact me.
John J. Nugent, BM1 (DV) USN (Ret.)
(photos courtesy Ann Nugent)