The Personal Meaning of Midway Magic (A Story by Our Client BG's Father)
Updated: May 14, 2019
The USS Midway Museum is an incredible asset to San Diego. Midway Magic touches the lives of so many, from a place where veterans can share the stories of their youth, to a place where dreams can come true. For my son, BG Miller, his dream has been realized!
(Midway Events Services Manager Tim Walsh with BG)
BG was born in San Diego to a family with a strong Navy background. Both of his grandfathers were Navy, one who was stationed at Balboa Naval Hospital, and the other who was an aviation machinist mate chief on the USS Midway. I first arrived in San Diego to attend boot camp and later was an electronic technician on the USS Jason at 32nd Street Naval Station in San Diego.
When BG was young, our family moved to Washington to care for grandparents who live close to NAS Whidbey Island. BG’s interest in the Navy grew as he watched the Blue Angels perform at airshows and often visited with relatives in San Diego, trips included going to the Midway. He loved it!
It was during these trips that BG realized that winter in San Diego was sunny, not cold, wet, and gray like Washington! By then, he has been diagnosed with autism and other disabilities. He began to remind us, sometimes on an hourly basis, that he absolutely wanted to move back to San Diego. There were a few conditions to fulfill, one of which was that he first had to complete his high school education.
BG’s high school senior year project was to describe his career goals and dreams. Even then, he knew what he wanted to do: work or be involved with the USS Midway, San Diego Zoo, and the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum.
A few years after high school, our family did return to San Diego. He began volunteering at the Zoo and Railroad Museum. Eventually it became time for him to find a paying job. The search continued for a part-time job for him, one he could truly own.
At the 2015 Veterans Day parade I saw a fellow wearing a Midway Events Crew shirt and inquired about the work. The information was passed on to Toward Maximum Independence (TMI), an agency that assists people with disabilities search for meaningful employment. After a couple of meetings on Midway, the rest, as they say, was history!
BG now has the best boss in the world, Tim Walsh, Midway’s Event Services Manager, who gave BG that all-important chance to succeed. Tim has continued to be a great mentor. BG also has a job coach from TMI, Andy Palasciano, who is frequently on board to support him at work.
BG’s skillset continues to improve and he has a wonderful emotional connection with the Midway. He tries to get to know everyone on the ship, employees and volunteers alike. Most everyone onboard knows him, including those from who he requests “permission to go ashore” at the end of his shift.
Working on Midway is his dream job, and he looks forward to many years as a member of the Midway Events Crew. Midway Magic is REAL!
(Reprint Courtesy of USS Midway Museum)
An estimated 1 in 6 people are born with a developmental disability. Just like you, they are born with hopes, dreams and the drive to contribute to society. Since 1981 Toward Maximum Independence (TMI) has transformed thousands of lives by providing assistance to children and adults with developmental disabilities, giving them the ability to realize their hopes and dreams.