Mission of the Pappy Boyington Field Museum Inc. is to preserve the stories and artifacts of local veterans that have contributed to the freedoms that we all enjoy here in the United States. The museum is named the Pappy Boyington Veterans Museum after Pappy Boyington. For those people who don't know who Greg "Pappy" Boyington is he was born in Coeur d'Alene, was raised in this area, and is our highest scoring ace of World War II, Medal of Honor recipient, Navy Cross recipient. Pappy Boyington was the leader of the Black Sheep squadron. His leadership led to the destruction of nearly 200 Japanese airplanes. And we preserve his memory as well as everybody else who served in uniform here from our community.
My family has a long history of military involvement in the United States, and I've always been involved with history. My father was a career Air Force officer, and he had a lot of stuff he collected over combat time and three wars plus the Cold War. I had a lot of stuff, too and people kept saying, "the kids need to see this stuff”.
One of the inspirations for this museum while at the Kootenai County dump one day and a guy my age dropped off a whole collection of Navy uniforms, pictures, and lithographs and I just grabbed it and discovered later that they are collector items, hard to find and we have them on display here. The motivator gave me the idea that what we've got here is memory heaven; we preserve the memories of all these veterans and what they've done for our country. The alternative is that dump -memory hell.
I think that every community in the United States should have a museum-like ours which celebrates and honors all those people who served in uniform for all these freedoms that we enjoy every day.