COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS — An exhibit that has been in the works for as long as the museum housing it has been around ... finally debuted this weekend.
The Museum of the American G.I. in College Station is saying "Thank you, welcome home" to Vietnam veterans.
'Voices From Vietnam, Stories From Those Who Served' is showcasing stories from veterans in the Brazos Valley.
"Every day when I shave and shower ... I see my dog tags and I remember those guys I was with," one Vietnam veteran said.
"That's my RV right here ... we didn't know what RVs were back then, but a vehicle like that was one I was on. We did everything," said Sgt. Ken Pruitt, a Vietnam veteran and Ontos Crewman with the Marine Corps.
Vietnam veterans, like Sgt. Pruitt, sat with gratitude as him and a dozen others were recognized at the Museum of the American G.I's newest exhibit opened up.
"I will be honest with you ... I almost got tears a while ago. It was a different ballgame. When we came back we were treated like dirt. I got in trouble over it ... I straightened a few out, glad I did. This museum really made me feel good to see people appreciate this," Sgt. Pruitt added.
"Hopefully it will be here for a long time like the rest of us," said Major Harry Raisor, another Vietnam veteran.
Major Harry Raisor said this exhibit will serve as a history lesson, for most. Raisor served as a Tanker Pilot for the United States Air Force.
"People are going to hear stories and see things they don't realize occurred, because this day and age, most of the people are young and you mention 'Vietnam' and they couldn't give you an idea where it is," said Major Raisor.
One good friend of Raisor, Major Bob McCreight, said him and Harry didn't know each other during war, but they both served at the same place and time overseas. Over the years the two have connected and have remained the best of friends in Aggieland since 1974. A bond that has grown stronger over the decades.
"In Vietnam, we were on the same base and we both remember instances that happened. I was at one place and he was at another place. When we both found out were coming to College Station because of the kids.. and I was going back to school. That's how we got together," Major Bob McCreight, a Vietnam Veteran and fellow Pilot in the United States Air Force, said.
A brotherhood nearly 50 years in the making between two soldiers who answered their country's call. Now stories on display at the museum, are ones only they know.
"We each consider family," McCreight added.
"It's just a thumbnail-scratch of the number of people that ended up in Southeast Asia and those who didn't come back. It's an honor to have something like this in the community," Raisor shared.
The exhibit opened up this weekend and will be on display until the end of September. The exhibit was made possible in part though Hotel Tax Revenue funded from the City of College Station through the Arts Council of Brazos Valley.
According to the Museum:
"The Museum of the American G.I. is a living history museum preserving the equipment, uniforms and memories of the American serviceman. Established in 2001 as a 501(3)c non-profit corporation."
Regular Admission prices for the Museum are $6 for Adults, $5 for Veterans and Current Military, and $4 Children (5-11). Children under four years of age are free.