The Spirit of Giving

Editor’s note: It is with great sadness to relay to our readers that as this article was going to print, our dear friend and longtime Midway Museum docent, Jack Scott, passed away. As a tribute to Jack and the docents who lovingly cared for him, we are including the “The Spirit of Giving” article in this issue of Currents as originally written. All of us at Midway hold the memory of Jack Scott close in our hearts.

The common thread amongst all USS Midway Museum volunteers can be summed up in one word – giving. 

Whether docents, members of our safety team or those who lend their talents and time to any of a dozen other departments at the museum, Midway volunteers bring a passion and commitment that defines the truest meaning of giving. 

Jack Scott standing the docent watch in Midway’s engine room #3

“Their expressions of humanity and connection never cease to amaze me – volunteerism is alive and well at Midway’s,” said Laurie Switzer, Midway director of volunteer programs. “We have an exceptional team with so many embracing the museum mission to preserve, inspire, educate and entertain.”

Recently, one of Midway’s most beloved docents, 97-year-old Jack Scott, was thrown a curve ball when he became seriously ill and spent some time in the hospital. Midway volunteers Todd and Laurie Hyde immediately stepped up to the plate.

“Bearing Christmas cookies, our annual gift to Jack, we showed up (at his home) to find him in the dumps and weak,” said Todd, who has been a docent since 2011. “So we got the word out and worked (with other docents) to set up a visitation schedule. Most importantly we just talked to him and revived his spirits.”

Todd and Laurie, along with many other docents, jumped into action to help Jack with his recovery. From house cleaning and laundry to preparing meals and reviewing medication, they tried to take care of everything Jack needed to get well.

“In 2019, I pushed the idea of shipmate support,” said Todd reflecting on the time when he was the chairman of the docent’s advisory council. “Pay attention to your shipmates was and is the theme. It is not noble, just doing the right thing to do.”

Todd and Laurie have grown close to Jack over the years. Jack helped Todd with engineering training when he was earning docent’s yellow hat 11 years ago. The couple kept in touch with Jack afterward and Todd also continues to stand docent watches with him on Midway. Jack has even prepared biscotti at their home.

“Pay attention to your shipmates was and is the theme. It is not noble, just doing the right thing to do.”

Jack, a World War II and Korean War veteran, is a treasured member of Midway’s volunteer family. For Todd, Laurie and the other docents, coming to Jack’s aid was an honor.

“I think we all made a difference,” said Todd, who has more than 6,800 volunteer hours.

“Jack is a hero to many,” said Laurie Switzer. “His first-hand accounts of life at sea are inspiring especially in light of the fact that he served in World War II, most notably, during the D-Day invasion at Normandy.”

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