I thought about using this one for Halloween, but unless you've seen the Doctor Who episode "Rose", you'll just think I'm crazy and rude. Since I am a big fan of the troops (especially Sgt Francis Horton, veteran of three conflicts), I give you the Livingston County War Museum on Veteran's Day, where it should be.
The museum is in the old Pontiac, Illinois fire station, which it shares with the Route 66 Museum. Pontiac is right off I-55 and has built up a pretty thriving tourism industry that draws visitors from all over the world. Apparently Route 66 tourism is huge with Europeans. In fact, some Swedes had signed the guest book just before we did on the day we visited, and the "Welcome!" sign was in about a dozen languages.
While I still have your attention, I want to give a shout out to another big fan of the troops, Miss Gina Elise of Pinups For Vets! I found out about Gina when Francis was on leave from Iraq and complained that this war doesn't have enough pin-ups. A Google search turned up an article about Gina, and she very kindly sent my calendar donation (plus some!) straight to Francis's unit. She does great work for our veterans, and is on a mission to visit VA hospitals in every single state. Visit her store today and check out all the ways you can support the troops!
The Livingston County War Museum seems to serve two purposes: one, a gathering place for the local veterans to stand around with coffee, like how my Grandpa used to go to White Castles every morning, and two, as a place for veterans to show off their uniforms and/or medals.
It's a pretty basic setup - mannequin, uniform, medals wherever they fit, picture & blurb about the person who wore the uniform. Francis was a squirming about medals on Class A's, but you know, it works for the museum display.
The collection of uniforms (and rows of mannequins) is the most visually striking, but they also have a large collection of various military items that have been donated or are on loan.
Most of the uniforms seemed to be donated by retired service members who live in the area or passed through and saw the museum, but there were also a few memorial displays.
Thank you to all service members past and present for your service to our country! I'm posting this a little bit early because I wanted to include the BIG LIST OF FREE STUFF for you vets out there. Make sure you get your free bloomin' onion and a car wash on Friday! ♥