Freshman Parks Schmidt collects military artifacts, converses with veterans

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Freshman Parks Schmidt is akin to all things military.

A couple of years ago, Schmidt started collecting military memorabilia, starting with his dad and grandpa’s old uniforms and medals. And, he has continued to collect multiple artifacts from various service members including dog tags, uniforms, and other personal belongings. Parks then posts his findings on his Instagram @MilitaryCurator.

Along with collecting military relics, Schmidt speaks with any and all military veterans in a variety of public venues to learn more about their time spent serving the country.

According to Schmidt, the most interesting veteran he’s talked to was a landing craft operator who was actually on Utah Beach on D-Day.

The military enthusiast plans to partner with the Surf and Rescue Museum to help plan a Vietnam era exhibit. Schmidt also plans to assist them with their veteran outreach program and mobile exhibits. He plans to loan the museum some of the artifacts he’s collected, but everything else he plans to keep forever.

“I can’t imagine parting with the items I’ve curated,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt is the son and grandson of retired naval officers. His affinity for the military comes from his dad who recently retired. Schmidt hopes to one day follow in their footsteps and also join the Navy.

“My dad was in the Navy and I see what an impact the military makes on the country as a whole; I want to carry on the legacy,” Schmidt said.

To find more information about Parks Schmidt and his military interests in the Virginian Pilot.