Tom Blakey, Museum volunteer and D-Day veteran
Of the more than 3 million visitors who have crossed the threshold of The National WWII Museum since June 6, 2000, a large number of them have had the pleasure of meeting affable volunteer, Thomas Blakey. The Museum regularly receives thank you notes from students, groups and visitors who have had the opportunity to visit with Tom during their time at the Museum, usually letting us know it was the highlight of their day.
Blakey, whose volunteer service predates the opening of the Museum, is a combat veteran paratrooper with the U.S. Army Double A, “All American, 82ndAirborne.” He jumped on the morning of June 6, 1944 behind Nazi lines at Normandy, France. His combat service was from France to Holland, including action in the surprise German offensive in the Ardennes Forest, the Battle of the Bulge.
Always quick with a greeting, a story or a joke, Tom is one of about 20 WWII vets who volunteers at the Museum. This first-hand interaction is invaluable for our visitors (and our staff!)
Mr. Blakey is also an active member of the Museum’s Speakers Bureau, traveling across the region to speak with schools, senior centers, community centers and other groups on his experiences. In 2010, he was recognized as the first Museum volunteer to pass the 10,000 hours mark.