War memorabilia tells many stories of service men and women

PORTSMOUTH, Ohio — With the sounds of Worlds War II music coming from an M-37 ammunition box from 1943, The Military Museum opened it’s doors Saturday to the community for the 10th annual Open House event.

Located at 421 Front Street in the Boneyfiddle area, the Military Museum offers memorabilia which tells the story of men and women from Scioto the Tri-State area, who have served in the United States military.

Michael Russell, a member of the National Guard and coordinator of the Military Museum Open House, said remembering our men and women who have served in the military is paramount.

“The museum has items from World War I up to the present. We have every branch of the military covered, all are represented here,” Russell said. “It is important that we remember those who serve our country in the armed forces.”

Russell said it is important the community does not forget our veterans. We have the 1191st Engineers Unit that is getting ready to go over to Afghanistan. We just need to stay aware of our service people that are still overseas, and our service people that are still serving, and the sacrifices that the families make,” Russell said.

His objective is to keep the public interested in visiting the museum by rotating the items contained in it.

“I like to rotate out. This year I’ve changed out six different uniforms at the top, and then I changed, and rearranged things along the bottom. I feel that if you come, and then you come in the next year, and everything is still the same, I won’t get you to come back. So, as long as I keep moving and keep putting up new displays people will want to come back and visit the museum,” he said. “It gives chances for family members of different families to be honored each year.”

He said the extensive display of memorabilia transcends the uniforms.

“They are people, not just uniforms. A lot of times the veterans want to make sure that their uniforms are used properly. For instance, the veterans don’t want their uniforms cut up for Halloween costumes. They don’t want their uniforms to be dishonored in that way, so they would rather see them housed, and displayed in memory, or to sit and be eaten by moths,” he said.

One of the special features in the museum is Sergeant Junk, display that stands more than six-feet tall.

“We called him Sergeant Junk when he was in Iraq. He is made up of actual blown up vehicle parts off of the U.S. vehicles. He stood guard in our motor port. He was out at Camp Liberty, we found him in the motor crew area. When they said we were going to turn the country over. I thought to myself, ‘I’m not going to leave him here,’” he said.”So I started asking different ones that were coming back to the States if they had room to take him.”

Three weeks before Russell’s military unit returned home, he said he received the call he’d been waiting for.

“I received a call saying they had some room, and they could get him home for me,” he said.

Also situated outside the museum were two military World War II Jeep vehicles for display, of which visitors had the opportunity to climb into, and take photos if they so desired.

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