Military Gear & Army Surplus Gear Blog

Wilson County Military Museum | Tennessee Crossroads

Wilson County Military Museum | Tennessee Crossroads


There are many museums
around the country that pay tribute to defenders
of American freedom. Wilson County has
a fairly new one that honors its
own local veterans with their uniforms,
their artifacts and other materials
that make for a fascinating personal experience. (uplifting music) This eternal flame in Lebanon symbolizes the
ongoing remembrance of Wilson County veterans. Those who served
their country and all US Armed Forces,
including some who made the ultimate sacrifice. The military museum
is the result of hard work, donated
by four architects and countless volunteers. (upbeat music) Visitors can view a
treasure of artifacts, loaned or given by
veterans from the area. All kinds of weapons from
frontier days to the present. In addition to souvenirs once
belonging to the other side. The wall displays
take you through a timeline of sorts,
including of course the war between the states, World War I. – [Linda] And of course
now when we you get to World War II we have
a special connection because the headquarters
for the maneuvers was here at
Cumberland University. From ’42 to ’44. And General Patton
was actually here in Lebanon during
that time period. – [Joe] Archivist,
Linda Grandstaff was responsible for
curating each and every artifact that came in. – [Linda] For the last six years it’s kept me pretty
busy, recording all the items that come in and
getting the information about them and
cataloging them all and giving them all a number. And, that’s very
important because if you just take things
and lay them down you have no idea
where they come from. (upbeat music) – [Joe] Mannequins,
who are specially ordered to represent real people dressed in their real uniforms. – [Linda] This
uniform represents Kenny Ridge, one of our
county commissioners and he served in the war of Iraq and he brought
back several items. – [Joe] Now, who is this? – [Linda] That’s Emma Tapley. She served in the
military, she’s from here. She now lives in
Texas but her family and all are still here but she just recently moved to Texas. The majority of our
mannequins stand for real people that are from our county or connected to our
county through a relative. And we’re very proud of that. And as I prepare
them for display it’s almost like I got
to know them, personally. Dealing with their
clothes and their history. That to me was very important and it was very
touching to be able to have that connection. – [Joe] The timeline
continues with the Korean War,
the war in Vietnam and finally of the Gulf Wars. The centerpiece of the museum
is this, 1965 Huey helicopter. It flew over 1800
hours carrying troupes in and out of hot
combat zones in Vietnam. It too has a true Wilson
County connection. – [Terry] I always
tell Miss Linda the dummy looks a lot better
than I ever looked in my life. – [Joe] Former county
sheriff, Terry Ashe, serves in the 101st
Air-borne Division in 1967 and ’68 at the
height of the conflict. He has three purple
hearts to show for it. – Wow, well some old web
gear I wore in Vietnam. I brought my Bible. Which I carried in, and I’ve had a purple heart pinned
on it for years. And these are photographs of me. This could be me in this
very helicopter here. We don’t know for sure. My old helmet. – [Joe] When the
helicopter was brought in from storage in
Nashville for display, Terry made a
startling discovery. It’s very likely
that he rode in it on a combat mission
during heavy enemy fire. – [Terry] It’s
very strange to see it here sometimes
but you just wonder is that the same one
but, there’s certain holes in the floor of this thing that lead me to believe
it is the same one, so. – Bullet holes? – Bullet holes, yeah. They’re marked by the red tags on the floor there. (happy music) – [Joe] The famous
quote, “War is Hell.” is attributed to civil war
general, William Sherman. Many of the veterans honored
here went through hell to preserve the peace
they cherished back home. This museum is dedicated
to all of those who served in any capacity. – Everybody can’t be in combat but those who were
back home with families and the other soldiers
who are serving in all the branches they make it able for you to be successful in your mission
when you’re deployed so, this is in honor
of all of the people. (happy music)


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