News & Events
Mineral Wells, TX
March 29, 2011
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2010 Activities Review — March 29, 2011
As we reach the end of the first quarter of 2011 and look ahead to our update of our Vietnam Veterans Memorial replica in June, the museum felt it was time for a review of the activities of the last year, and a preview of this year.
First and foremost, the VHPA national organization has joined the list of museum Founders, alongside the Fort Wolters and Washington State Chapters.
On June 5, 2010 we had the first update of our Vietnam Veterans Memorial attended by over 1,000 visitors. At the same time, we unveiled our “Soldier’s Cross” sculpture, and our computer kiosk, which contains a complete database of the names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Locations of the names on the wall can be searched by name, state, or hometown. Even the original in Washington, D. C. does not have this service.
On June 4, 2011, we will again be updating our replica to add the six names that were added last Memorial Day in Washington. We will also be reclassifying the status of 18 servicemen whose remains were identified and repatriated in the past year. Once again we expect a capacity crowd, not only for the ceremony, but also to take advantage of the updates to the museum that have occurred over the past year.
In December, we completed our Visitor Center and opened it to the public. It is now open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with a volunteer staff to answer questions for visitors. In January, we began construction of our first exhibit, a representative example of a Vietnam soldier’s living area in a semi-permanent building, commonly referred to as a hootch. This exhibit will be a “work in progress” for several months as it grows and changes to reflect changes in occupants over what could have been a period of several years.
The central part of the exhibit will be a Vietnam era stereo system donated by Vietnam vet Dennis Withers. Also included are a folding cot, mosquito netting, hand grenades, rifle, and a footlocker and table built from scrap ammo crates.
Our fourth themed garden, the Reflection Garden, has recently been started as an Eagle Scout project by Dustin Rollings. In addition to the plantings which were approved by the Weatherford and Mineral Wells Master Gardeners, when completed the garden will feature flagpoles flying the flags of the allied nations who participated in the Vietnam War, and will eventually provide the backdrop for our OV-10 when its restoration is completed. Also provided in this garden will be two large concrete picnic tables and benches.
Also recently completed is the construction of our Service Center building. Now that the exterior is finished, work will begin on finishing out the interior. Included will be office and work spaces to allow us to have a climate controlled area for working on future exhibits.
One planned future exhibit will be on display in conjunction with our June 4 wall update ceremony. SFC Steve Robinson (USA Ret.) was a combat photographer with the 7th Cavalry Regiment (Garry Owen), 1st Cavalry Division in 1968. In addition to the official Army photographs, Robinson also took photos with his personal camera, and has graciously agreed to display some of them in our Visitor Center in June.
All in all, it has been another busy year as we continue to work toward our goal of building a museum to build understanding.
Please visit our website for more information about the museum, our gardens, future events, and donation opportunities at www.nationalvnwarmuseum.org.
The National Vietnam War Museum is a 501(c)(3) organization incorporated in the state of Texas.
Edward T. "Edd" Luttenberger
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The National Vietnam War Museum
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