Steve and Vicki Muller are volunteers at The National Museum of Military Vehicles
By Craig Blumenshine, Director of Communications, National Museum of Military Vehicles
Volunteers Complete Second Summer at The National Museum of Military Vehicles
Like so many travelers on their way to Yellowstone or Grand Teton National Parks, Steve and Vicki Muller just happened by The National Museum of Military Vehicles near Dubois, Wyoming. Interested because of the tanks they saw outside, Steve and Vicki pulled into the parking lot of the massive museum with their trailer, went inside, and also had a chance meeting with the museum's founder, Dan Starks.
It was the very first day the museum had opened in August 2020.
"We didn't know it was opening day. We saw the flags and tanks, pulled in, toured the World War II part that was open, and met Dan," Steve said.
On to Flagg Ranch in Wyoming, the Mullers went, thinking about what they had just seen.
"When we got back to our camper, we just looked at each other and said, 'that is just so amazing, I want to be a part of that,'" Vicki said. After asking to see if the museum could use volunteers, Steve and Vicki interviewed. Then some paperwork followed.
"And here we are," Vicki said.
The Mullers just completed their second summer of volunteering, working as a team to greet guests who come through the museum's front doors. Their welcoming, smiling disposition and enthusiasm for the museum are infectious. And the couple is already planning for summer number three.
"We are so grateful for what Steve and Vicki have brought to the guest experience at the museum. They make every guest feel so welcome the moment they come through the front door," Alynne Catron, Executive Director of the National Museum of Military Vehicles, said.
The Mullers have a history of volunteering and giving back to their communities. Steve, a retired ear, nose, and throat physician, delivers Meals on Wheels and worked during medical mission trips. Vicki works as a volunteer at the Pregnancy and Life Center near their home in Marble Falls, Texas.
Asked what they learn from guests who come to the museum every day from all over the country, and all over the world, Steve and Vicki were quick to reply, "They have a common interest with us, in military history, and many are curious like us and stopped in just as they were driving by."
The couple loves hearing the stories from guests, whether it is about their connection to military history as a veteran or from a family member, or just their personal stories and why they wanted to come to the museum.
Steve is a retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel.
"I was so fortunate. I've wanted to fly since I was 12-years-old," Steve said.
After high school and one-year stint at an engineering school in Philadelphia, Steve set his sights on his childhood dream.
"I realized that (engineering) was not what I wanted to do. I applied to the (United States Air Force) Academy and got in by the skin of my teeth. But I did pretty well there and got to go to pilot training and fly for five years," Steve said.
He flew mostly Cessna T-37 trainers and was an instructor pilot.
"They called us Plowbacks back then. I got to fly with some guys who were in combat and were very happy to have come home alive," Steve said.
Vicki, who interprets and speaks Spanish fluently after spending a summer in Mexico going to school when just 15 years-old, spent her professional career as a director for an early childhood intervention program for babies with special needs.
The couple have three sons, and were married in an abandoned civil war church outside of Marble Falls.