Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Louisiana Military Museum | Ruston, LA

Veterans Day - Monday, November 11th

Although we are thankful every day for their dedication and sacrifices, this is the time of year we all think about the service men and women who have fought for this country. With Veterans Day just around for corner, let’s take a moment to also celebrate a local treasure, the Louisiana Military Museum.

Since November 11, 1995, the Louisiana Military Museum has been reliving 150 years of military history through the lives of local heroes and unknown enemies. The museum is home to approximately 10,000 artifacts and showcases U.S. conflicts from the Civil War all the way to the Afghanistan War.

The exhibits are unique to the area and feature an expansive weapons collection, flags, training gear and apparel, as well as personal items like diaries, letters and Bibles. Outside the museum you’ll also find aircraft and vehicles from almost every conflict in American history. Museum Director Ernie Stevens is quite knowledgeable of, not only the wars, but of every artifact on display.         

Iraqi Redayeen
The helmet design is a copy of the
Darth Vader helmet from Star Wars.
I had the pleasure of visiting the museum this past month with a group of travel writers. I had not been there in a couple of years and didn’t realize what I'd missed. I’m a bit of a history enthusiast and enjoyed a good two hours browsing the displays. (I’ll also tell you now, two hours wasn’t nearly enough time to see everything.) World War I and II, Korea, Vietnam and the Gulf Wars are particularly well represented. And the machine gun display is also a must see for any military history buff. 

I was unusually excited by the variety of military-issued gas masks. I’ve always found them strangely fascinating.

Iraqi Gas Mask
Copy of a
U.S. M-9 gas mask

I also found this photo of a gentleman from my hometown. Private Robert H. Scott, 8th Louisiana Volunteer Infantry from Winnsboro, LA.
Side note: Does anyone else see the John Cusack resemblance?

Caption reads: Pvt. Robert H. Scott, Winnsboro, Louisiana,
Co. E (Franklin Sharpshooters) 8th Louisiana Volunteer Infantry, C.S.A.
(Image courtesy Mark Hadley, Capt. Leon Polk Camp
Sons of Confederate Veterans, Bastrop, La.)
Have you been to the museum lately? These displays are a standing honor to those who served our country. They are here for us to appreciate and are important in the fight to keep history alive.

If you’d like more information on the museum, visit their website or call (318) 251-5099. The museum is open Tuesday-Saturday, 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. and admission is free. It’s located at 201 Memorial Drive in Ruston. Stop by and see Ernie and spend some time exploring one of Ruston’s hidden treasures.

Also, if you’re interested in learning more about Louisiana in war history, check out articles from Dr. Terry Jones in Louisiana Road Trips

Amanda Quimby is a native of Franklin Parish, a University of Louisiana at Monroe alumna and now a proud Ruston resident. As the marketing director for the CVB, she has an love for travel and tourism, and the coolest job ever. Amanda’s favorite things: coffee, wine and swing jazz. When she’s not working, ...just kidding. She’s always working. Follow her on Instagam and Twitter.

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