OSHKOSH (NBC26) — EAA KidVenture is teaching the future is by appreciating history.
KidVenture is a part of of the EAA AirVenture convention that's put on specifically for children interested in aviation. It allows children to explore aviation with hands-on exhibits and activities. Children can learn how to fly a radio-controlled airplane, experience flight simulators, and learn aviation history.
One of the features at KidVenture is the Tuskegee Airmen Traveling Exhibit panoramic movie theater. The Tuskegee Airmen were the first African American aviators to join the Air Force during World War II.
101-year-old veteran Charles McGee is one of those heroes. He was one of the Tuskegee Airmen who visited KidVenture Thursday to meet with convention-goers.
"I say whether you like to look at the planes, kick the tires, maintain it or fly it, it’s a wonderful place to be and to share," McGee said.
McGee served in World War II, the Korean war, and the Vietnam war. He regularly attends KidVenture to share his story with the next generation of aviation.
"We need to keep the challenge and the door open for the young people who are our country’s future,” McGee said.
His biggest piece of advice for aspiring aviators is what he calls the four P's: perceive, prepare, perform, and persevere.
"Find what you like, prepare, get a good education, develop your talents," McGee said. "Perform, always do your best, persevere, don’t let somebody tell you you can’t achieve.”
McGee says supporting children who are interested in aviation is what will keep the industry alive.
"The least we can do is ensure that they get the message and are supported in their endeavors and desire for aviation interests,” McGee said.
KidVenture is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.