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Artifacts dating from the Revolutionary War and all of our U.S. wars up to the present will be on display at the Northern California Veterans Museum and Heritage Center about a block from the Redding Municipal Airport. And in addition to these myriad displays in buildings, large gardens and picnic areas for the public are also in the planning.
Who is responsible for all this? A gentleman named Robert Burroughs, a husky U.S. Navy Seabee, recently returned from two tours of duty in Iraq, whose military family had accumulated so much military paraphernalia over decades of military actions that they needed a place to put it all. It didn’t take Rob long to realize there would be a need for others to do the same. Through months of fundraisers, designs, and conferences, this dream has become a reality, and is growing. Anyone who possesses military artifacts from any of the wars is encouraged to give them a home in this new museum.
This is information that was presented at a recent monthly speakers program of the Shasta Country Military Officers Association of America (MOAA).
Rob Burroughs is an impressive guy, not only in appearance but in his accomplishments. His vivid accounts of the obstacles encountered in convoying troops and supplies throughout the Kuwait and Iraq campaigns brought us a new vision of what went on there. Truck convoys six to eight miles long through enemy-infested territories presented countless opportunities for the opposing forces to plant explosives and set up ambushes at random. In spite of the many losses by others during his two Iraq tours of being in charge of the planning and managing of these campaign convoys, all the men in his unit returned to the States with him, and with no serious injuries.
But the emotional strain still exists. Even during his presentation, Rob broke down briefly in relating memories of what he encountered. His chilling statement about the difference between what went on there (and still does), and what we in the U.S. hear on the news, was an eye-opener. He lamented the fact that only 1 percent of the U.S. population is mindfully involved in our various military conflicts, and the rest of the 99 percent hardly knows what’s going on in them. This is a far cry from our nation’s total involvement in WWII.
The Military Officers Association meets each second Monday at noon, with the exception of July and August, at Athens Avenue’s Country Waffles. Anyone in our community is welcome, but especially our returning servicemen and women.
View the Northern California Veterans Museum location in a larger map.
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