Museum of the American GI
When a visiting student hears the name “G.I. Museum of the American G.I. in College Station,” he automatically thinks of the Texas Memorial Military Park. The park is located in College Station, TX, and is named after the first soldiers killed in action in the Vietnam War. The site was created in honor of all fallen soldiers of the First Infantry Division. There are interactive exhibits and displays in the museum. The U.S. flag is also at the entrance of the museum.
The museum is open every day and is accessible to the public. Even during the school year, there is an exhibit and program that runs every single day. The museum’s primary focus is education, and the veterans are encouraged to share their experiences and how they became a part of the U.S. armed forces. The children’s exhibits inside the museum are educational as well.
One specific display that the students enjoy is entitled “ability: the forgotten soldiers.” This exhibit teaches the history of the Vietnam War through replicas of medals and insignia from different conflicts. In one section of the show, students can see a display of an armor helmet that belonged to the unit called the 1st Marine Division. The helmet is made from a new type of metal that has not been mass-produced before. Another section displays items used by members of the U.S. Army like radios, battle knives, and body armor.
The third section of the museum features a recreation of the war room. This room featured R.O.B. Camp, where the G.I.’s would have their meals. The reconstructed table and chairs serve as placeholders while the students have their hands on the history and the tools they used during the war.
Some of the students who tour the museum get to experience a working simulator. This allows them to interact with an actual G.I. while learning about military actions. During this session, students will have the chance to use military headsets and instruments such as radio scanners. These tools help them to experience what it would be like to operate a helicopter or a tank.
The fourth section of the museum explores the impact of the G.I.’s in the community. In this section, students will hear about veterans, local businesses, and schools touched by the G.I.’s participation in the war. They can listen to a presentation about the five benefits of the G.I. bill. Other students can visit the booth of the Military Veterans of America – Loan Museum to see an exhibit about the loans given to former soldiers.