I happened to be at the National World War II Museum recently showing around a former Middle East adviser to Vice President Joe Biden. We were accompanied by another museum member. We were stopped by a gentleman who had some questions for us. He asked, “When was Pearl Harbor?” Followed by, “Didn’t we drop the atomic bomb on Japan right after Pearl Harbor?” He also asked, “How long was World War II?” and “When did we fight Germany?”

We were shocked. Between the three of us, we had fought all wars between Vietnam and Iraq/Afghanistan.

We all felt disrespected and, at the same time, betrayed. This underscores the need for museums like this and cries for an examination of school curriculum. Please tell me my 26-year Air Force career and combat in two wars were not wasted.


colonel, U.S. Air Force, retired