Most everyone from Texas believes the state is the epicenter of the world. Recognized as a leader in finance, High School football and the arts, Texas and Texans have long lived by the slogan that “Everything’s bigger and better in Texas”. It seems that there’s at least one more area in which the Lone Star State and its residents excel: History. The State’s sports organizations and their ever devoted fans have long defined and exemplified what true loyalty, pride and accomplishment are. Storied and established champions in the NFL (Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans) and MLB (Texas Rangers) demonstrate the state’s position as a professional sports titan. Texas also boasts great academic institutions like the University of Texas at Austin, Rice, Baylor and SMU, and has also been a financial juggernaut with unsurpassed influence in the oil and space industries, just to name a few. As a side note, Texas is the home of entertainers ranging from Ginger Rogers to Beyoncé. These establishments clearly demonstrate Texas’ influence on our world and reflect a Texas way of living and approach to life-- to win and win big. Similarly, Texas and Texans also offer a great example of how best to honor and revere our pasts—both American History and the History of the Great State of Texas. A trip inside the Gen. Brigadier John C. L. Scribner Texas Military Forces Museum quickly demonstrates how important history and our military are to those in the state. The museum is a marvel of artifacts, files, photos and other items dedicated to providing a glimpse at the history of military campaigns in Texas and engagements by Texas military men and women dating from the Stephen F. Austin colony to the formation of the National Guard. The museum employs a “hands on” approach which allows guests to experience the real moments of America’s wars and daily life of soldiers.
Recently, Milly Calderon, one of the experienced Customer Care professionals at Carrot-Top, had the opportunity to work with Museum Director Jeff Hunt to prepare banners for display at an event at the museum. The banners were 3’x 5’ and crafted with Carrot-Top’s premium and polished, woven nylon. As Milly talked with Mr. Hunt, she like many of us here at Carrot-Top, wanted to know more about the museum and perhaps get a glimpse into a true marvel of military history and time. The museum seems an incredibly fascinating place where history is real and breathes its life into all who visit.
The Texas Military Forces Museum is the official museum of the Texas Army and the Air National Guard. The Museum displays dozens of tanks, armored personnel carriers, self-propelled guns, trucks, jeeps, helicopters and more. The magic, or rather, power of the museum is that it allows everyone- young and old- to interact with artifacts and items that military men and women touched as they created America’s history. The museum features films, music, and photographs while it also showcases realistic full-scale environments that tell the story of Texas Military Forces in every American military engagement up to and including the Global War on Terror. Museum offerings entail living history programs; battle reenactments and other special events that take place throughout the year. Last year, the museum’s annual tribute to Vietnam veterans entailed the setup of an authentic Vietnam era military encampment. Volunteers help thousands of people better understand the service of American troops in Southeast Asia during the 1960s through the actual weapons, equipment, period magazines, manuals and even radios that soldiers read, used or heard. The effect of this face-to-face with history is quite dramatic for former soldiers and civilians (guests). “Veterans love to see the weaponry they carried during that war,” says Hunt, who is commander of its living history detachment. “You can see the excitement on their faces and the thrill when we let them hold one of the firearms. It is as if the vets are reaching out and touching their youth. Certainly, the sights, sounds and feel of these historic objects bring back a flood of memories.” Sometimes those reminisces are good… and sometimes they are painful.
The magic or perhaps the more lasting, impact of the museum is that Americans of every age and generation share and learn from these historical treasures. Where else can one see, touch and feel the true commitment, value and sacrifice American soldiers and veterans have made throughout our history. The museum--the artifacts, veterans and volunteers--is a treasure trove of history that opens its doors to visitors and teaches them more than they could ever have learned in thousands of books. One of the most thrilling and enlightening occurrences at the museum is when living historians recreate a Vietnam War-era air assault. Volunteers board a Huey helicopter and fly into “battle”. As air show caliber pyrotechnics go off in the background, a Cobra gunship and observation aircraft zoom overhead and reenactors race out of the helicopter as it touches down. The scene creates living history and offers a deeper understanding and affinity for the men and women who served, and perhaps died on the actual battlegrounds fifty years ago. “It truly drives home the risks they faced,” Hunt mused, “and the courage, skill and professionalism they embodied. It makes it unquestionably certain that all of the men and women who fought in that war are real heroes.”
As the nation celebrates over sixty years since the start of Vietnam War and observes the 72nd Anniversary of the D-Day invasion of Normandy, it is important that we, as Americans, visit institutions like the Texas Military Forces Museum. The knowledge that history provides is priceless, yet the experience military museums provide is phenomenal. Many states have military museums that use stories to bring the experience to life. While it is incredibly important to learn the lessons our military engagements have taught us, the opportunity to see, touch and feel the tools, weapons and camps that influenced those engagements can transform us. Sharing the experiences of those who fought for our country, whether the memories are pleasant or painful, victorious or overwhelmed, helps shape who we are as Americans. It is our collective history.
Admission to the museum is always free. The museum’s Living History Detachment routinely offers programs and events which highlight the role of the United States’ Armed Forces in American history from the War of 1828 through the Viet Nam War. So whether for Flag Day (June14), Veteran’s Day, Memorial Day or any other national holiday or observance, fly your American flag with pride knowing that the cost of our freedom has been paid for by the lives and sacrifices of countless men and women. As Americans, we must compel ourselves to acknowledge our heroes not only in and at our museums but everywhere our lives take us. Carrot-Top salutes and honors the efforts of our Military by providing the finest American flags, City flags and other patriotic items. Our collection of US State flags includes flags celebrating the State of Texas flags as well as flags of all fifty states and U.S. territories. We also feature Texas Star Ornaments as well as other indoor and outdoor flagpole accessories that create a dynamic display honoring your state. Shop our custom section for great options and possibilities to showcase your town, business, school or church’s logo, photo or image. Our Customer Care Specialists offer greater product details, assist you with placing an order and provide more information regarding the services we provide. Simply call (800)628-3524.