Earlier I posted about finding my POW. Wednesday I visited the Airborne & Special Operations Museum in Fayettevill, NC, to see the museum’s special exhibit honoring the Special Operations POWs. The exhibit is up through January 2013 and is free.
Though my POW wasn’t a member, from what I read about him he had similar experiences.
A centerpiece is a mock-up of a tiger cage where the men were held. It measures approximately 4’x7′, just enough room for a man to lie down or sit up. The walls and bottom are latticed bamboo and the roof thatched. I was relieved to see the walls weren’t solid so the men could at least see out, but my legs still twitched and my back ached as I imagined being cooped up for any length of time. The open walls also allowed rain and animals in. Even though prisoners were only yards from each other, the jungle was so thick they couldn’t see one another; the canopy so heavy sunlight couldn’t filter through.
This is only one of the many hardships visitors learn about. In addition, there are stories of the individual men – the ones who survived and the ones who didn’t – stories of escape and attempts, and how their experiences changed how the military trained future soldiers.
The rest of the Airborne & Special Operations Museum is also worth visiting and it’s free. It’s not a huge place, but it’s loaded with exhibits that chronicle the Special Operations Forces from 1940 to the present. It’s small but packed enough that even the youngest visitor won’t get bored!
So on this Memorial Day Weekend, or any time, why not take a field trip to Fayetteville and visit the Airborne & Special Operations Museum and pay tribute to these brave men and women.
Kim – Thank you for reminding us to pay tribute to all the brave men and women in our Armed Forces who have served, and are still serving. It would be an even greater tribute to visit at this or other memorial sites to honor the fallen heroes who’ve made it possible for us to enjoy the beautiful freeedoms we still possess – with a special honor for those among us who had endored hardships of war, that we, thank God, may never imagine. Happy Memorial Day!!
Happy Memorial Day to you, too. I agree, we are so blessed.
Thank you, Kim. As the mom of a soldier, I appreciate your tribute. I fear many in leadership in this great country have forgotten the grave sacrifices made for us to have those ‘beautiful freedoms we still possess’. I see young soldiers daily at work and secretly pray for their success and a swift and safe return home.
Susan, I’d forgotten you were a MOM. Please tell your son thank you. You’ll have to let me know his name so I can add to my prayer list. I think my fear is for ‘us’ who often get too busy and take our blessings for granted. If we don’t remember, I think that is the greater dis-service to our men and women. I’m glad my tribute touched you, I hope it touches others as well.