April 24, 2023
Museum Hosts Public Discussion on the Complex Themes and Perceptions of Military Life
CHARLESTOWN, MA (April 24, 2023)—The USS Constitution Museum invites the public to participate in a unique discussion on the perceptions of military life on Wednesday, April 26, from 1:00-2:00 PM in the Museum’s Theater. The program will focus on the themes that emerged during a seminar-style program called Sailors Speak: The Impact of War on Naval Veterans, Their Families, and the Country.
Over recent months, the Museum has invited military community members to explore the history and experience of military service through the lens of USS Constitution history, compared to the modern post-9/11 experience. Guided by trained discussion leaders, participants were provided a selection of contemporary and historical resources, engaging with the Museum’s collections to create a contextual foundation to examine and reflect on military service.
This event is the culmination of that program, highlighting the thoughts that surfaced about the personal and national impact of military service on Americans today. Moderated by USS Constitution Museum Public Historian Carl Herzog, a panel of veterans, historians, and military community members, will introduce the overarching themes and perceptions, opening the conversation to the public.
With fewer Americans opting for military service, the Museum seeks to broaden understanding of this community and their service. Chief Experience Officer Sarah Watkins elaborates, “The Museum has always served as a bridge between USS Constitution and the civilian community. We want to strengthen that connection. Based on what we see in the dedicated officers and crew of Constitution, we believe that with understanding will come deeper respect and empathy for what the military community does and their impact on our lives.”
The event is free and open to the public. No registration is required. Further information is available on the Museum’s website.
The Sailor Speaks program is made possible by a Dialogues on the Experiences of War grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
About the Panelists
Captain William A. Bullard, III, USN (Ret.)
Capt. Bullard, commanding officer of USS Constitution from 2007 to 2009, was a surface warfare officer who served during Operation Desert Storm in the Arabian Gulf, Operation Reserve Hope in Somalia, and Operation Southern Watch in Bahrain. Capt. Bullard is currently working toward a Ph.D. in physics.
Lieutenant Colonel Michael Davison, USAF (Ret.)
Lt. Col. Davison is a 1991 graduate of the USAF Test Pilot School. As the Air Attaché to the Republic of Uzbekistan during the attacks on September 11, Lt. Col. Davison was instrumental in establishing the U.S. air base at Karshi-Khanabad three weeks after the attack on the United States. He is also a skilled woodworker and ship model builder.
Master Chief John Graning, USN
Master Chief Graning is currently stationed at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine. Previously, he served as chief of the boat on the submarines USS Hampton (SSN-767) and USS New Hampshire (SSN-778). He has multiple deployments to the Arabian Gulf, Mediterranean, North Atlantic, Pacific, and an ICEX. Master Chief Graning has an MS in Operations and Project Management.
Lieutenant Colonel Peter Harvell, USA (Ret.)
Lt. Col. Harvell has eighteen years of service as a Veteran Service Officer and is currently appointed in Lincoln, Massachusetts. As a career Army Special Forces officer, Lt. Col. Harvell spent many years in joint assignments working with all branches of the military and served in Desert Shield/Desert Storm. He is a graduate of the U.S. Naval War College.
Captain Mary Jo Majors, NC, USNR (Ret.)
Capt. Majors was commissioned an ensign in 1968 and retired from the Navy Nurse Corps in 2011 with over 43 years of service. She is a leader and mentor in the Boston area’s military community and also serves as a trustee of the USS Constitution Museum.
Shick has worked as an Intelligence Analyst for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. She is an experienced military spouse and mother whose husband, Commander Nathaniel Shick, was the commanding officer of USS Constitution from 2017 to 2020.
About the USS Constitution Museum
The USS Constitution Museum serves as the memory and educational voice of USS Constitution by offering award-winning exhibits where all ages can have fun while learning and exploring history together. The Museum’s mission is to engage visitors in the story of Constitution to spark excitement about maritime heritage, naval service, and the American experience. The Museum is open seven days a week with a pay-what-you-wish admission policy, and the Virtual Museum is open 24/7. The USS Constitution Museum is a 2022 winner in USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice in the “Best History Museum” category and Boston Parents Paper’s Family Favorites in the “Historic Sites & Tours” and “Museums & Attractions” categories. For more information, visit usscm.org.