USS Midway Museum volunteers continue to be the life’s blood of the ship. They are often the first encounter museum guests have once they come on board, and the last one as they are going ashore. Comments by guests on Tripadvisor repeatedly praise Midway volunteers as the reason behind their 5-star visit.
“The ship is manned by volunteers who simply love their jobs and that makes the entire experience so enjoyable,” said Midway visitor Bob Kingman.
Bravo Zulu to our Volunteers of the Month for the first quarter of 2023.
Dianne Wilkie, Safety – January 2023
Dianne Wilkie has been a member of Midway’s safety and security team since 2004 and has nearly 6,000 volunteer hours. She thoroughly enjoys being in a military environment and interacting with the guests to give them a better understanding of what it was like to serve on an aircraft carrier.
A retired U.S. Army vocational nurse whose family has roots in the military dating back to the Spanish American War, Dianne has proved invaluable. Dianne can be seen year-round standing on the pier in the early morning hours directing guests attending military events. In addition to her work as an event safety, Dianne has undertaken the daunting task of issuing updated 2023 team parking permits. After issuing the permits, Dianne often comes back to the safety office to ensure all the electronic files are updated.
“Dianne is a highly dedicated and motivated safety team member,” said Dominick Boccia, Midway director of security. “Her dedication and hard work are a great asset to the museum.”
This work ethic is not unusual for Dianne, who spent nearly 15 years as a registered nurse in the postpartum ward at Naval Medical Center San Diego following her retirement from the Army.
Cole Rahn, Ship Restoration – February 2023
Cole Rahn is a relative newcomer to Midway, having started with the ship restoration team in 2019. However, he hit the deck running. Before the end of his first year on board, he also joined the museum’s outreach team.
Possessing tremendous enthusiasm for military history, coupled with experience in restoring vintage bicycles and vehicles, makes Cole a perfect fit for the museum’s ship restoration team.
Having just celebrated his 24th birthday, the restoration team considers Cole their true “youngster” working on museum projects ranging from Ready Room 8 refurbishment to basic equipment. He’s also first in line to tackle special projects that support education and outreach programs or engineering contractors. He has already amassed nearly 1,000 volunteer hours.
“Cole is a dedicated young man who puts his heart, soul and hands into any project he is given or what he finds needs to get done,” said Len Santiago, Midway’s chief engineer. “He represents the best of the best of our young adult volunteers today.”
Cole is pursuing a career in aircraft maintenance and technology.
Matt Doidge, Docent and IT – March 2023
Matt Doidge wears two volunteer hats on Midway. Since 2016, he has contributed more than 2,300 hours to both the docent team and the IT department.
He not only assists with the docent continuing education and docent training programs by ensuring the Zoom and presentation equipment is ready for the session, but he also solicits information on docent staffing and then volunteers on the days we are short-staffed.
“Matt has been an outstanding docent,” said Jim Reily, Midway’s director of docents. “He is always willing to step up to the plate to help whenever we need it.”
Matt has also made significant contributions to the museum’s IT department. With his expertise, he performed a risk analysis that led to the upgrade of the ship’s network. Using similar techniques, he also helped identify other infrastructure shortcomings, which are currently being addressed.
“Thanks to skilled volunteers like Matt, our department can deliver top-notch solutions to stakeholders and beyond,” said Shawn Granen, the museum’s IT director. “I am extremely thankful to have Matt as part of our team.”
For those interested in becoming a USS Midway Museum volunteer, more information along with the volunteer application can be found www.midway.org/give-join/volunteers
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