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Volunteers honored for service at National Museum USAF

  • Published
  • By Rob Bardua
  • National Museum of the U.S. Air Force

The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force Volunteer Program celebrated its 35th anniversary by honoring more than 540 volunteers during a Volunteer Appreciation Banquet on May 5.


David Stemen of Beavercreek, Ohio, received the 2016 Director’s Award for Volunteer of the Year for his dedication and excellence in serving the museum and the U.S. Air Force.


Nominated by the Restoration Division, Stemen was commended for providing specialized machining, sheet metal fabrication, design and woodworking. He specifically machined over 600 Milson sleeve bolt fasteners from steel bar stock; which is a unique fastener used in the assembly of the Titan IVB rocket’s payload fairing, and is not available from any other source. He also played a major role in the cleaning of the Presidential Aircraft and produced 10 window frames for the Memphis Belle based on the blue prints from the aircraft.


Other Volunteer of the Year nominees included Paul Cooper (Volunteer Resources Office); Krista Dunkman (Collections Division); Bobbette Fluck (Operations Division); Walt Hoy (Special Events Division); Joe King (Volunteer Advisory Council - Early Years/WWII Gallery  representative); Laura Shapland (Research Division); Bill Weldon (Volunteer Advisory Council - Cold War Gallery representative); Ted Valley (Volunteer Advisory Council - Fourth Building representative); Marti Ventolo (Air Force Museum Foundation); and Felix Weil (Education Division).


Additionally, eight volunteers received special recognition during the banquet by receiving the President’s Volunteer Service Award, which is awarded to those who have completed 4,000 hours or more of volunteer service. Those volunteers included Kerry Allswede; Jerry Archer; Chuck Jones; Don Perander; Marti Ventolo; Lee Verbillion; Duane Wicks and Bob Wiser.


Richard Palmer of Springboro, Ohio, was recognized for 30 years of service and Dick Brubaker of Dayton, Ohio, was recognized for 25 years of service.

The museum also acknowledged 96 volunteers for reaching milestones of 1,000 to 25,000 hours of volunteer service. Overall, volunteers contributed 112,869 hours of service to the museum in 2016, representing more than $2.6 million dollars in assets to the Air Force.


For more information about volunteering at the museum, visit


The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio, is the world’s largest military aviation museum. With free admission and parking, the museum features more than 360 aerospace vehicles and missiles and thousands of artifacts amid more than 19 acres of indoor exhibit space. Each year about one million visitors from around the world come to the museum. For more information, visit



NOTE TO PUBLIC: For more information, please contact the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force at (937) 255-3495.


NOTE TO MEDIA: For more information, please contact Rob Bardua at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force Public Affairs Division at (937) 255-1386.