History Forgotten and Discarded

My name is Bob Dymek. I'm a GWOT vet. I own & operate a small military museum and need your help saving our history. In 2016, I incorporated GHQ Military Preservation Group and Museum, a 501c non-profit organization, with its mission to preserve our military history and heritage to pass on to future generations. We offer everyone the opportunity to see and learn about the contributions and sacrifices of our armed forces to this nation and the world.

My museum is MOBILE for two reasons. 1. Keep operating costs down and 2. To bring my exhibits to those that are unable to travel long distances to brick and mortar museums. I’m also one of only a few MOBILE military museums in the country. We are an all volunteer group and build displays, transport, setup exhibits and speak to the public about our history and personal experiences in the service. Most of the memorabilia used in the displays is donated by veterans and family members of veterans who passed away or purchased with occasional financial donations. Some collections allow us to exhibit a veterans complete life story and service history.

Two things kept standing out while talking with the public: Finding out that our history was being thrown away or being placed in the trash by family members who did not know where to donate it. Other times items were taken to local historical or veterans organizations to be told they had no room or interest in the items. Thinking they weren’t worth anything, they were then thrown away to rot in a landfill or buried in the bottom of a closet or an attic never to be seen again. There was an instance when a footlocker containing the possessions of a World War II Marine was found sitting by a dumpster. Left by whom? We’ll never know, but saved by a patriot who could not allow that history to be lost.

The other thing that stood out was that at events younger people asked for information and clarification about our history. Younger generations are often confused about military history. Our volunteers are always glad to help or to just listen to the many stories veterans tell us about their experience. It is a very moving and humbling experience to witness a Vietnam vet who comes up to a display, puts his hand on the M60 machine gun and tells his story of being a gunner and how that gun saved him and his fellow soldiers time and time again during the Vietnam War, not taking his hand off until he was finished and then heading on his way.

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