Blue Star Voices
Looking at the military memorabilia at the Georgetown County Museum. Photo by Brittany Barry
In the midst of a deployment, spending time with family and getting away from the everyday stresses of being on my own help the days disappear on my countdown calendar.
My in-laws live in the small community of Pawley’s Island, South Carolina, around 2.5 hours away from Camp Lejeune. The community rests on the water and is a great getaway from the hustle and bustle of a military base. When looking for ways to get out of the house, much to my surprise, I discovered that the little Georgetown County Museum was on the list of Blue Star Museums. We piled into the car and drove to Georgetown, only about 20 minutes down the road from Pawley’s Island.
Arriving at the museum, my in-laws were instantly attracted to the room filled with military memorabilia. Several uniforms from a variety of services were hanging on the wall and vividly drew in any patriotic soul. “Hey! That’s the uniform Michael wears!” was one of the first statements made by my father-in-law. Instantly the room was transformed into our own time machine, allowing us to connect the past with our present situation, experiencing a deployment for the second time. My father-in-law studied the guns and weapons, while my mother-in-law viewed the pictures of a handful of local veterans from the area. It was amazing to view these men holding photographs of themselves taken decades ago with flags and weapons. Each photograph told a story and allowed us to connect our area with the patriotism and bravery that makes up the United States Armed Forces today.
I looked at each photo carefully, thinking of my Marine who was millions of miles away, and suddenly beginning to feel proud of my husband. He belonged to an elite group of men and women, and only the people on these walls knew what my husband and countless others had endured during wartime. We continued to look through photo albums and archaic artifacts taken from the battlefield. My mother-in-law was examining a helmet and told me that her “grandfather had one just like that!” It was amazing to know that dedication to our country reached far back into generations of our family and the area. Oftentimes veterans go unnoticed, yet here they were able to tell their stories, and we gladly listened.
One day in the future, my husband will tell the same stories and recount the men he lost and the ones who changed his life. The men on the walls served as a mirror to our future, and I could not have been more proud to be a United States Marine Corps wife. The small Georgetown County Museum offered my family a glimpse into the past and reminded us of what was truly important.
This post originally appeared in a slightly different version on the Blue Star Families blog. Please visit the Blue Star Museums website for more information about the program and to find participating museums.