Calendar - Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum Trust, Inc.

Calendar

Nov
11
Thu
Spotlight On: Footlocker Program
Nov 11 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Spotlight On: Footlocker Program

November 11, 2021 7PM

Virtual Event – Join us on Facebook or YouTube

 

This Veterans Day Tim Neff, Director of Museum & Education, will provide a virtual look at the Soldiers & Sailors’ Footlocker Program. The theme of this presentation will focus on a soldier’s life through the years. Artifacts from the museum’s collection will be examined including the uniforms and basic equipment spanning the Civil War through present day. Please join us as we compare and contrast the soldier’s experience through the years. This program is intended for all ages.

Bio:

Tim Neff began working at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum Trust, Inc. in 2002 as the Director of Education. In 2017, Tim took on the role of Vice President and Director of Museum & Education at Soldiers & Sailors. He is a certified Social Studies teacher and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in History and Political Science from the University of Pittsburgh. During his time at Soldiers & Sailors, Tim has developed a variety of museum programs including: interactive and engaging tours and field trips, a footlocker outreach program, Boy Scout merit badge programs, teacher conferences, summer camps, community history events and much more.

Dec
9
Thu
Spotlight On: Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs
Dec 9 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Spotlight On: Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs

December 9, 2021 7PM

Virtual Event – Join us on Facebook or YouTube

Guardian Angels began in 2009, when our Founder & Executive Director, Carol Borden was approached by Sam, a young man tragically paralyzed in a high school football accident. Sam required the constant aid of a caregiver, and had acquired a young German Shepherd named Bessie for companionship and a sense of independence, but quickly lost control of the dog. Carol, long known in Florida as an expert dog trainer, who’d been training dogs for nearly 50 years, was asked by Sam to train the dog. After what seemed like endless hours of training, there emerged this amazing service dog that was settled, obedient and able to give this man his life back. She now had the skills to pick up dropped items, open and close doors, bring him water from the refrigerator; help him move from his chair to the shower and so much more.

Watching Sam & Bessie function as a true team after the months of training brought everything into perspective for Carol, and at last she knew just what her years of dog-training and Business experience were for, and Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs was born.

Since that first successful pairing, Guardian Angels is very proud to have donated more than 300 wonderful service dogs with deserving veterans and others in need. Guardian Angels trains for a variety of conditions, from mitigation of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and/or Traumatic Brain Injury symptoms, to seizure or insulin alerting, to mobility issues and more.

Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs is funded primarily by donation and private grant support. Without you, we could not continue this life-saving work, and hope that you will visit our donation page and consider joining our Paw Prints Monthly Giving Club, and make a no-hassle monthly gift.

Every dollar truly makes a difference at Guardian Angels,  and donations go directly toward feeding, housing, caring for and training of these amazing animals.

Ben Keen (and Bolt)

Ben Keen is a Veteran of the US Army who served from 1999 – 2008.  He served as a communication expert providing the critical voice and data network to the commanders on the battlefield.  Ben completed several combat deployments including being a member of the historic 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) in 2003 during the initial invasion and occupation of Iraq.

Ben moved to Pittsburgh, PA at the end of 2007 and found work in the IT field.  Ben is currently employed at American Eagle Outfitters as a member of their IT department as a Senior Systems Administrator.

In 2019, Ben was paired with his medical alert service dog, Bolt.  Bolt is a blue, bi-color female German Shepard who was raised and trained by the staff of Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs; a Florida-based 501c(3) who provides highly trained medical alert service dogs to disabled Veterans and First Responders.

Ben is a resident of South Park, Pa where he lives with his wife, their 9-month-old son, 3 cats and Bolt.  He serves as a member of the board of directors for two Pittsburgh-based Veteran service organizations, Operation Troop Appreciation and Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Trust.  He is also an official ambassador for Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs.

Ben has been recognized for his dedication to Veterans and their families by been named the 2016 American Staffing Association Nation Employee of the Year for his work on helping Veterans find meaningful deployment.  He has also been featured in numerous local and national publications including Time.com and Pittsburgh-based radio and newspapers.

In his spare time, Ben enjoys taking photos as well is an avid cigar smoker.  It is his goal that by sharing his story; he can help other Veterans and their families know they are not alone through their transition from the military and beyond.

Jan
13
Thu
Spotlight On: One Year in the Curatorial Department
Jan 13 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Spotlight On: One Year in the Curatorial Department

January 13, 2022 – 7PM

Virtual Event – Join us on Facebook or YouTube

Soldiers & Sailors maintains a collection of more than 11,000 objects, a number that continues to grow as we receive artifacts donated on a regular basis. Join Curator Michael Kraus and Collections Manager Lisa Petitta for a fascinating look “behind the scenes” at what it is like to work with the museum’s collection. Learn about all of the varied procedures that make up the management process. The program will also highlight several significant objects that arrived during 2021 and the stories behind them.

 

Panelists

Lisa Petitta, Collections Manager, Soldiers & Sailors

Lisa Petitta is the Collections Manager at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum.  She joined the Museum in 2015 and has always had a passionate interest in military history. She is responsible for the safe storage of artifacts in the permanent collection, cataloging artifacts and has worked on display installations, museum tours, grant writing and fundraising events. She holds Masters in Military History from American Public University and a BA in History and Minor in Historical Preservation from the University of Pittsburgh.

Michael Kraus, Curator, Soldiers & Sailors

A well-known Civil War historian, Kraus currently works as Curator/Historian for Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum. His accomplishments include several historical consultant credits for major films, writing and narrating the documentary series Civil War Minutes and Civil War Life as well as authoring articles and books regarding the conflict. Michael also is an accomplished sculptor with an impressive resume of historically themed works in bronze.

Feb
10
Thu
Spotlight On: Robert Gould Shaw Post 206: African Americans in the Civil War
Feb 10 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum

Spotlight On: Robert Gould Shaw Post 206: African Americans in the Civil War

February 10, 2022 7PM

Virtual Event – Join us on Facebook or YouTube

 

Approximately 180,000 African Americans served during the Civil War as a part of the USCT (United States Colored Troops). After the war many of those former soldiers joined a popular national veteran’s organization known as the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR). Pittsburgh was home to the Colonel Robert Gould Shaw Post, one of 15 “colored” posts in Pennsylvania. Each GAR post kept a book in which individual histories of their members were recorded. The Shaw Post’s book is a part of the collection at Soldiers & Sailors and contains valuable information regarding the service of Pittsburgh’s African Americans. Join Curator Michael Kraus and Educator Tim Neff to learn these stories and more.

 

Presenter Bios

Michael Kraus

A well-known Civil War historian, Kraus currently works as Curator/Historian for Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum. His accomplishments include several historical consultant credits for major films, writing and narrating the documentary series Civil War Minutes and Civil War Life as well as authoring articles and books regarding the conflict. Michael also is an accomplished sculptor with an impressive resume of historically themed works in bronze.

 

Tim Neff

Tim Neff began working at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum Trust, Inc. in 2002 as the Director of Education. In 2017, Tim took on the role of Vice President and Director of Museum & Education at Soldiers & Sailors. He is a certified Social Studies teacher and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in History and Political Science from the University of Pittsburgh. During his time at Soldiers & Sailors, Tim has developed a variety of museum programs including: interactive and engaging tours and field trips, a footlocker outreach program, Boy Scout merit badge programs, teacher conferences, summer camps, community history events and much more. Tim is a past recipient of the Pennsylvania Council for the Social Studies “Friend of Social Studies” award and he has presented at a number of history related and educational conferences throughout Western Pennsylvania.

Feb
24
Thu
The John L. Ford, Sr. African American Heritage Celebration
Feb 24 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

The John L. Ford, Sr. African American Heritage Celebration

February 24, 2022 – 7PM

Free Virtual Event – Join us on Facebook or YouTube

Breaking Barriers in World War II

How a city forged in steel, along with the Pittsburgh Courier’s Double “VV” Campaign and Western Pennsylvania’s Tuskegee Airmen, paved the way for Civil Rights in America

Panel Discussion:

Moderator: Sonya D. Ford, Program Manager, Carnegie Mellon University, Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship

Panelists: Jaquay Edward Carter, Award Winning Historian & USMC Veteran

                   Michael Kraus, Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum Curator

Soldiers & Sailors 6th Regiment USCT Drum Corps Performance Video

Moderator: Sonya D. Ford, Program Manager, Carnegie Mellon University, Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship

Panelist Bios:

JaQuay Edward Carter

Award-winning historian and USMC Veteran, JaQuay Edward Carter, has a long history of community service, military service, and human services advocacy. JaQuay began his post-secondary education at the Community College of Allegheny County, completing an associate degree in Ethnic and Diversity Studies. Soon after, he enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh, where he received his undergraduate degree in History Education/Africana Studies. In 2018, JaQuay was directed back to his hometown of Hazelwood through his passion for history and neighborhood pride. He founded the Greater Hazelwood Historical Society of Pittsburgh and Cultural Center. The following year, he formed the Black History Society of Western Pennsylvania, which is dedicated to the research and repository of our region’s African American experience. JaQuay began working with Rivers of Steel Heritage Corporation in 2020 as a consultant on African American Industrial Heritage and Diversity Initiatives. In June of 2021, he became the first person of color to guide industrial tours at the Carrie Blast Furnaces National Historic Landmark. Mr. Carter is currently pursuing dual degrees in Master of Divinity (M.Div.) at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and Master of Science in Public Policy and Management (MSPPM) at Carnegie-Mellon University.

Michael Kraus, Curator, Soldiers & Sailors

A well-known Civil War historian, Kraus currently works as Curator/Historian for Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum. His accomplishments include several historical consultant credits for major films, writing and narrating the documentary series Civil War Minutes and Civil War Life as well as authoring articles and books regarding the conflict. Michael also is an accomplished sculptor with an impressive resume of historically themed works in bronze.

 

The John L. Ford, Sr., African American Heritage Celebration is a FREE annual event focusing on the sacrifices & contributions of African-Americans during the American conflicts. Developed in 2011 by Mr. Ford, the event has become a valued aspect of the museum’s community outreach. In 2020, the African American Heritage Celebration was renamed in honor of the late John L. Ford, Sr., who served as Soldiers & Sailors Historian from 2007 through 2017.

Mar
10
Thu
Spotlight On: Saluting Women in the Military
Mar 10 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Spotlight On: Saluting Women in the Military

Major Kathy Silvia, US Army (Retired)

March 10, 2022 7PM

Virtual Event – Join us on Facebook or YouTube

This month’s program will feature Major Kathy Silvia, a retired Army officer who was among the first class of women to graduate from West Point in 1980. During her 20 year military career (1980-2006), Kathy spent time serving in the fields of artillery and logistics. She is a former member of the 99th Division, also known as, the “Checkmate Division”. Today she calls Pennsylvania home and she has been appointed by the Board of Directors at the Military Women’s Memorial to reach Women Veterans from across the state. Please join us to learn more of Kathy’s story.

Major Kathy Silvia Biography

Kathleen Silvia attended US Military Academy, graduated among the first co-ed Class of 1980 with a BS in Engineering.  She was commissioned a 2LT in the Field Artillery to lead soldiers from platoon to Battery level.   Kathleen’s Missile assignments took her to Crete where (in 1983) her platoon ranked as the Battalion’s top firing platoon.  Later, she represented the US Army during a NATO Exchange assignment with the 3d Regt Artillery Marine (105mm) in France. She executed all of the soldier training alongside the French Artillerymen of the Regiment and briefed the Officers of this Regiment on the finer points about US Army’s Artillery (all in French of course).  After her FA Battery Command, the Field Artillery Branch presented limited options for women in the branch and Kathleen branch transferred to Logistics in 1986.  Her service in logistics took her to South Korea’s 2d Infantry Division where she orchestrated various supply and transportation support missions on behalf of the 16,000 soldier Division and the surrounding community.   She allocated the resources to recover from Typhoon Vera; assisted in locating and processing 3 human remains from a river drowning incident. In this role, Cpt Silvia supervised 30 South Korean security guards who protected Army resources.   She returned to the US to join 4th Infantry Division at Fort Carson, CO.  Then CPT Silvia was sent to Panama to work with SOUTHCOM’s Logistics Cell to craft BLUE SPOON, the logistics support plan for the 1989 invasion of Panama.

From 1989 to 1993, Major Silvia served as an Army Reservist preparing New England units for deployment overseas in response to the Iraqi Occupation of Kuwait (the 1990 Gulf War).   Over six units were sent from New England during the early stages to establish the legal Status of our deployed Forces, to move and supply the combat theatre.   She earned Reservist Officer of the Year for the State of Massachusetts in 1990.  As a citizen-soldier, Kathleen earned a Masters in Procurement while working full time.  Her work involved supervising staff in warehousing, logistics, procurement and production planning operations with such firms as Pepsi and Schering Plough.   She had a six year break in military service but, returned as a Reservist with the 99th RRC in Pittsburgh in 1999 again as a Logistics Staff Officer responsible for the command’s logistics posture.

In 2003, she was called to Active Duty twice (as mobilized Reservist, then as AGR),  to deploy with the 812th Transportation Battalion (Medium Truck) to the combat zone (Kuwait/Iraq).  With over 1200 truck drivers, this outfit executed transportation support from the seaport into northern Iraq.  She continued serving the nation until December 2006.  She began a quest to serve and honor other Veterans as an apprentice learning National Cemetery burial business, protocols and legislation.  She trained and graduated from the National Cemetery Administration (NCA) certified as a Cemetery Administrator in 2009 with the Dept of Veterans Affairs. She served with the NCA in positions of increased responsibility at Calverton National Cemetery (NY), Denver (CO) and then Baltimore (MD) as the Cemetery Director in 2010.  Continuing to serve Veterans, she became a Department of Army civilian to serve at West Point, New York’s Post Army Cemetery, 2011 to 2015.  In 2015, she he transferred to PA sustaining military missile systems at Letterkenny Army Depot in Chambersburg, PA and retired in late 2018.  The board of Directors at the Military Women’s Memorial had appointed her to cover the State of Pennsylvania and reach PA Women Veterans across these 67 counties.

Mar
27
Sun
Joseph A. Dugan, Jr. Hall of Valor Induction Ceremony
Mar 27 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

On Sunday, March 27, 2022, Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum Trust, Inc., will induct the next group of veterans into the Joseph A. Dugan, Jr. Hall of Valor.

The ceremony begins at 2 pm in the auditorium and is open to the public and free to attend. In honor of the Hall of Valor Ceremony, the museum is open and admission is free on March 27th from 12 pm – 2 pm. Complimentary parking is available while supplies last in the street-level parking lot opposite the building on Bigelow Blvd.

Please note the traditional luncheon that usually follows the ceremony is by invitation only and is not open to the public this year.

The event will also be livestreamed on Facebook and YouTube so that anyone who wants to watch this remarkable group can do so from the safety of their home.

 Please use the following links to view the event on either Facebook Live or YouTube.

The links will become active about 5 minutes prior to the ceremony

Facebook Live Link

YouTube Link

Soldiers & Sailors recognizes and pays tribute to Pennsylvania veterans who have received the military’s highest awards for valor: the Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, Navy Cross, Air Force Cross, Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, Soldiers Medal, Airmen Medal, Coast Guard Medal or Navy/Marine Corps Medal (for bravery and heroism during times of military conflict). These inductees will join the over 700 heroes that have already been inducted into the distinguished Hall of Valor since 1963. We also ask that you attend and encourage individuals and local community to attend the ceremony!

Apr
14
Thu
Spotlight On: Liberators of the Concentration Camps
Apr 14 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Spotlight On: Liberators of the Concentration Camps

April 14, 2022 7PM

Virtual Event – Join us on Facebook or YouTube

Throughout April, 1945 advance elements of American soldiers confronted the harsh realities of Nazi concentration camps, consequently placing them in the role of liberators. This month we will examine letters from liberators and a photographic record of what they encountered along with other objects as gathered from the archives at Soldiers & Sailors. We will also be joined by US Army Sergeant Guy Prestia of the 45 Infantry Division Company E- 157 Infantry Regiment. He will discuss his experiences during the liberation of Dachau. Join us as we learn about and pay tribute to the Liberators of World War II.

BIOS:

Lisa Petitta, Collections Manager, Soldiers & Sailors

Lisa Petitta is the Collections Manager at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum.  She joined the Museum in 2015 and has always had a passionate interest in military history. She is responsible for the safe storage of artifacts in the permanent collection, cataloging artifacts and has worked on display installations, museum tours, grant writing and fundraising events. She holds Masters in Military History from American Public University and a BA in History and Minor in Historical Preservation from the University of Pittsburgh.

Michael Kraus, Curator, Soldiers & Sailors

A well-known Civil War historian, Kraus currently works as Curator/Historian for Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum. His accomplishments include several historical consultant credits for major films, writing and narrating the documentary series Civil War Minutes and Civil War Life as well as authoring articles and books regarding the conflict. Michael also is an accomplished sculptor with an impressive resume of historically themed works in bronze.

 

Sergeant Guy Prestia

Sergeant Guy Prestia served in the United States Army as a part of 45th Infantry Division Company E- 157 Infantry Regiment. He served as a BAR (Browning Automatic Weapon) man in North Africa, Sicily, Salerno, Anzio, Rome, Southern France and Germany. He spent 511 days in combat and served an extra 6 months in the Army of Occupation. He is a retired machinist who raised eight children. He serves as Deacon at his church and speaks to school children and civic organizations about WWII and the Holocaust so we never forget.

Apr
16
Sat
Soldiers & Sailors Tabletop Gamers
Apr 16 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Soldiers & Sailors Tabletop Gamers

FREE Admission Kickoff

April 16, 2022

10AM – 4PM

Welcome to the first monthly game day for the Soldiers & Sailors Tabletop Gamers! We welcome interested gamers ages 10 and up of all experience levels (including none) who want to bring or just play historical board games and miniatures war games, in keeping with the museums mission. For this day only we will have FREE admission with online registration at the link below.

Specific games for April 16th will include two easy-to-learn games: What a tanker! Using 1/72 scale WWII tanks and the 1862 Battle of Puebla (Cinco de Mayo) . . . OR bring your own historical military board game or miniatures game to share! Every game day will always have at least one easy-to-learn multiplayer game for anyone new to historical gaming.

To register for tour FREE museum admission on April 16th please visit: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c084ba9ac2eabff2-soldiers

For more information please contact Tim Neff: tim@soldiersandsailorshall.org

Future game days will require you to pay standard museum admission, which is listed on the museums website: https://www.soldiersandsailorshall.org/museum/.  HINT: The annual membership is very inexpensive! https://www.soldiersandsailorshall.org/donate/#membership.

 

What is Tabletop Gaming?

Tabletop gaming is played on a table with physical pieces, as opposed to video/computer games. Tabletop gaming includes both board games with playing pieces (for example, Stratego) and miniature games. Miniature games use representative terrain game boards and miniature military figures.

May
12
Thu
Spotlight On: Behind the Scenes: America’s Defenders Statue
May 12 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum

Spotlight On: Behind the Scenes: America’s Defenders Statue

May 12, 2022 7PM

Virtual Event – Join us on Facebook or YouTube

This Memorial Day, Soldiers & Sailors will proudly unveil a new statue dedicated to those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. The life size bronze monument will be known as “America’s Defenders” and will feature a male and a female soldier. This program will feature the statue’s artist and Soldiers & Sailors Curator, Michael Kraus who will walk us through the creation process including concept drawings, mock-ups, clay molds and bronze casting. Also highlighted will be the source materials (uniforms & equipment) and the tools that were used throughout the process. This program will serve as a special preview for a physical exhibit that will be available to the public at Soldiers & Sailors as a part of our Memorial Day Celebration on May 30th.

BIO:

Michael Kraus, Curator, Soldiers & Sailors

A well-known Civil War historian, Kraus currently works as Curator/Historian for Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum. His accomplishments include several historical consultant credits for major films, writing and narrating the documentary series Civil War Minutes and Civil War Life as well as authoring articles and books regarding the conflict. Michael also is an accomplished sculptor with an impressive resume of historically themed works in bronze.