Tommy Thayer Teams With Zenith Watches for Military Museum Fundraiser

By Roberta Naas / Forbes

Last night in Portland, OR, guitarist Tommy Thayer, a.k.a., the Spaceman, along with Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley and Eric Singer, all of the rock band KISS, gave a surprise performance at the close of a gala fundraiser event, where legendary rockers such as Alice Cooper, Robby Krieger of the Doors, Danny Seraphine from the band, Chicago, and Will Lee from The Late Show with David Letterman, among others, also performed. The exclusive “All-Star Salute to the Oregon Military” event raised $1.4 million toward completing the construction of the $20 million Oregon Military Museum named after Tommy’s father, Brigadier General James B. Thayer. To help raise funds, Tommy Thayer joined forces with Zenith Swiss watch brand to create a special commemorative watch and a small, limited edition collection.

“Obviously, this is important to me on a personal level because my father is involved,” said Tommy Thayer in a private interview yesterday, “but it is important, too, for people to remember and commemorate the amazing people and their stories of heroism. The things they did for our country are inspirational and help us understand where we came from, what helped make us, as a country.”

Thayer’s father, the 94-year-old retired Brigadier General James B. Thayer, is a decorated hero who served in World War II. In 1945, Thayer led his platoon forward in Europe, engaging in hand-to-hand combat with SS soldiers, and eventually entered Austria. “My dad’s platoon discovered and liberated an Austrian death camp for Hungarian Jews,” explains Tommy Thayer. “It was a horrific experience, but they saved the lives of 15,000 refugees in that camp.”

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