FAR ROCKAWAY, Queens (PIX11) — Raymond Daughtry Jr., 91, has a love for building model warships.
In honor of Veterans Day this Saturday, this United States Marine Corps veteran unveiled his latest piece of work as a reminder of his pride in serving our country.
Residents at JASA’s Brookdale Village Older Adult Center came together Thursday to honor Raymond Daughtry Jr., appreciating both his military service and his artistic contribution to the community. Daughtry is rebuilding military history one warship model at a time.
“This is called ‘scratch-modeling’,” said Daughtry. “It’s a level where you have a plan and that’s it and if you want to build it you have to use your own experience from past years of building stuff.”
The Brooklyn native served in the Marines from 1950 to 1954 during the Korean War and has developed a love for constructing museum-quality model ships; a stunning symbol of his patriotic pride.
“I just loved it,” Daughtry said. “The way they were built, what they did, what their purpose was. The fact that they were for conflicts. That sort of thing, and being in the military myself, it was a natural I think.”
Daughtry has been creating his whole life starting as a child making model airplanes and eventually becoming an architectural draftsman after his stint in the military.
Through the years he says he’s created about a hundred warships that take more than a year to build. His latest work is the iconic French battleship Richelieu which was used in World War II and unveiled at the center during a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
He said he donated the piece to the center, where he lives, in hopes of inspiring others that the sky is the limit regardless of your age.
“I just hope that people come, they look at it, they realize that I’m a senior and I didn’t do this when I was 20 years old,” said Daughtry. “You’re still capable, you’re still valued. Do stuff. Here’s a guy that did this and he’s one of us.”
The warship sits in a case enshrined at the center, honoring the vet who served our country while marking his legacy that will last a lifetime.