COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI)-For the month of November an impressive collection of pictures, uniforms, and other military memorabilia profiling African American veterans are on display in Columbus. Its just in time for this year’s Veterans Day Observance.
Tucked away in the Horace Thornton Room of the R. E. Hunt Museum And Cultural Center, military memorabilia saluting known and not so well known veterans of color who served and are serving in uniform with distinction.
“Johnnie Johnson, he was a veteran and during Desert Storm he had to leave the school and go to serve. But as soon as he got out of his military duties he was right back at the school again. And he is also the president of this museum,” said Laverne Greene-Leech, Curator.
Special focus is placed on Vietnam Veterans of the 60’s. The wife of one young army soldier remembers her engagement. In the days of snail mail, veteran John Cox sent a calendar to his sweetheart who circled their wedding date for when he returned back to the states.
“He said sometimes he would get five/six letters at a time because the way the mail traveled at the time you know to Vietnam. But he asked me if I would write him every day and I did,” said Mattee Cox, Military Veteran’s Wife.
On one table, featured is the selfless dedicated service of three generations of men from the Taylor family of Columbus.
“John L. Taylor, Sr. who served in World War Two, we have John L. Taylor, Jr., who served in the Vietnam War. And his son Ralo Taylor who is serving now. He has done two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan,” said Leech.
“My stepfather James Q. Salter, and my father Charlie Hudson Jemison. He was in the Korean War. And James Salter was in the, World War Two. And I have my son Lamorris Shelton who was in Desert Storm,” said Susie Shelton, Volunteer.
And so the tribute to those in uniform, is another way of collecting and building something lasting for all to see and take note of.
“So many of our students left Hunt during the 60’s and they’ve never felt that they had any place to come back to. Hunt is their school, Hunt is their home and we want to appreciate them,” said Leech.
There will be a special viewing of those forgotten veterans at The Horace Thornton Room of the museum Monday from eleven to 8 P.M.