This Is Home: Mid-Ohio Valley Veterans Museum

By  | 

In recent years, it's appeared the Veterans Museum of the Mid-Ohio Valley has made the news for the wrong reasons.

But it is working to return to its original goals: paying tribute to our local veterans, how-and why-they served.

"From the Spanish-American War, we've got stuff from back there, all the way up to Iraq, Afghanistan, the Gulf War," according to Rod Joachim, a former director and current member of the museum's board of directors.

Memories of wars and conflicts dating back more than half a century, can be found in a relatively small building on Seventh Street. Some of what happened is told by items donated by veterans themselves.

"And when you read their story, you're looking at the uniforms they wore," Joachim says, "and you're looking at what they went through."

"I donated my uniform to show I was there," says veteran Rick Bailes, "and that was a part of me, and will stay a part of me, if I live to be 100."

Few people know the effects of war more than David Huffman, who has been a local attorney for years, in spite of losing his vision in the Vietnam War.

"They tell the stories about the veterans, not just the weapons and the memorabilia, but what happened to that person as an individual."

Statistically, West Virginia has had more people per capita serve-and become casualties-than any of the other 49 states. But what is represented here goes beyond the numbers.

Even those who served and fought more recently are impressed.

"I had no idea some of the things our military did, and I'm sure some of that continued when they got out of the military," says Iraq and Afghanistan veteran James Carvell. "That's what got the Mid-Ohio Valley where it is today. I can't work any more, but I fought valiantly for my country, and this is a representation of what I've done."

The museum's board of directors is looking for financial donations, as well as volunteers who can help run the museum and serve on its board of directors.

The museum's phone number is (304) 420-0332. It also has a Facebook page.