Volunteer Spotlight





CSM (Ret) Louis Wolfgram

Louis (Louie) has been a volunteer at the museum for almost 12 years. Louie (I still call him Command Sergeant Major) became a volunteer in early 2012 after retiring from the Iowa Army National Guard for the second time.

I met Louie when he came out of retirement to serve as the State Quartermaster (my boss) while then Colonel Ben Corell (now Major General Corell) was deployed to Afghanistan. I don’t know how I would have survived that first year without Louie. Louie connected me with so many National Guard members that assisted me after his second retirement. I was lost trying to learn all the military acronyms (that I am still learning) and supported me with all my ideas to grow the museum and remodel the exhibit gallery. When CSM (Louie) retired the second time I thought I would just see him at alumni events but his desire to continue to serve led him back to the museum to volunteer.

As a volunteer, Louie assists with front desk duties by greeting visitors, helping with tours and assisting at major events like Memorial Day. In addition, he has been part of the museum’s project to preserve World War I induction and enlistment cards into our digital system. When completed, Louie will start scanning, entering and preserving some of the 1930s Iowa National Guard Records.

Louis is a true Command Sergeant Major, assessing what needs to be done and helping out whenever needed.


Thank you, CSM, for all you do for the Gold Star Museum!






Laverne Oertli

Laverne has been a volunteer at the museum for 13 years. Laverne and her late husband Joe, became involved with the museum because their son was serving with the Iowa National Guard and they wanted to be close to him during his time of service and the museum was the perfect fit for them.

When Laverne is not volunteering at the museum, she is enjoying her grandchildren, doing needlework and belongs to a couple book clubs. Laverne is also volunteering at the Veterans Hospital operating the courtesy cart and delivering mailing. Laverne is also a member of the Blue Star Mothers of Central Iowa.

Laverne is a bright spot in our day at the museum. She always comes in with a big smile and willingness to help and do whatever is needed. From working in the giftshop organizing and folding items dusting and vacuuming and greeting visitors.


Thank you, Laverne, for all you do for the Gold Star Museum!


Iowa Gold Star Military Museum
7105 Northwest 70th Avenue
Johnston, IA 50131
Phone: (515) 252-4531
Sun - Mon: Closed
Tues - Fri: 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Saturday: 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Admission is always free.