Times story on Wounded Marine Retraining is new twist on old story – My Uncle Retrained Wounded Vets after WWII

Today’s New York Times has a wonderful story on a program to teach Marines wounded in Iraq a useful skill in the photographic, video, or film industries.

It’s inspiring and the concept of helping veterans who have made such great sacrifices of body and soul should absolutely receve significant support from all corners of society.

We do, however, need to look back to the post-WW II era and realize that this is not the first time the private sector has reached out to veterans whose bodies have been damaged by war.

When my mother’s family owned Dorn & Kirschner Music in Newark, my Uncle Fred Kirschner started the Eastern School of Musical Instrument Repair in the business and became one of several small private programs that trained wounded World War II and Korean War veterans to become musical instrument repair technicians.

Lars Kirmser wrote about the programs in an effort to establish a certification program. Miller’s Saxophone Shop in North Haledon NJ wears its founder’s certification by Uncle Freddie as a badge of honor.

And you can be certain that the Marines being schooled in the visual arts in this new program will always, always remember the new opportunity they are being given.

If anyone has photos from the Dorn & Kirschner days in Newark, please drop us a comment on the blog. We would love to start archiving any photos that still exist.

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