Union City, Tenn. — Discovery Park of America has announced a $30,000 gift from Jimmy Rickman of Murray, Ky. to support improvements to the museum’s War Remembrances Theater.
The theater, located in the military gallery, features a video presentation of local residents sharing first-hand, wartime stories about their military service. Included are local veterans who served in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.
“Discovery Park of America provides an incredible opportunity to make certain the stories of our local veterans are shared with future generations,” said Rickman. “As a veteran myself, I think this is such an important part of the work they do that I wanted to make a contribution to making certain that area of the museum is everything it can be.”
Rickman was born the next to youngest of seven children on March 12, 1926 in Murray, Ky. to Ed and Lucy Johnson Rickman.
He was only 12 years old when he began helping his father and brothers in their house-moving business by emptying wheelbarrows of dirt.
Attending Murray Training School until the eighth grade, he later worked at a local grocery store.
After being drafted into the U.S. Navy, Rickman was able to put his experience of truck driving, farming and carpentry to good use.
Rickman served two years and, after the war ended, headed back home to Murray where he continued working in construction.
“We’re so grateful to Jimmy Rickman for making one of the most popular exhibits we have here at DPA even better,” said DPA president and CEO, Scott Williams. “His generosity will touch thousands of lives for many years to come.”
Rickman’s gift will be used to upgrade the seating, technology and audio-visual equipment in the War Memorial Theater and add more stories for DPA’s guests to view.