Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Peterson Space Observer

Retirees share wealth of knowledge with museum visitors

(U.S. Air Force photo/Dan Santistevan) Mike Miller, a volunteer docent at the Peterson Air and Space Museum, talks to visitors about one of the museum’s many displays.

By Master Sgt. Genevieve Sills

Space Innovation and Development Center

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — The Peterson Air and Space Museum is an inviting place for visitors, families and tourists alike. It has a rich history as the gateway to Colorado Springs from when it was the airport, to now as a historical site and archive of military history.

While there are many artifacts on display, it is the volunteer tour leaders, called docents, working within the museum that make it even more interesting. Like the movie “Night at the Museum” these folks are “tour guides” and bring everything to life as if you were there.

Mike Miller and Jeff Nash are both retired Air Force members who continue to be involved with the military community through their work at the museum. Miller is a volunteer docent and Nash is the deputy director/curator.

Nash, who retired as a master sergeant, said he feels the docents add so much to the mission at the museum. “The docents bring their knowledge and experience to the museum. That’s what makes the museum so great.”

Miller retired as a lieutenant colonel and served from 1973-1993 as an EC-121 Warning Star pilot and HH-3 Jolly Green Giant pilot after Vietnam.

He said he volunteers to keep in touch with his military roots and also works with the El Paso County Sheriff’s department to keep his law enforcement ties. He has been working at the museum for about one and a half years and really enjoys the interaction with people from around the world.

Miller is always talking with folks who visit the museum, and said he learns a lot from visitors who actively worked the systems the museum has on display.

The best story he recounts was from an active duty member who was a maintainer on the Peacekeeper Missile. The museum has a mock-up of a missile procedure trainer, and Miller said most of his knowledge and interesting stories he tells comes from folks who stop by and spend time with the docents.

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