The U.S. Veterans Museum in Granbury Texas is somewhat different than most museums. It is a collection of artifacts and memorabilia, much of which is on loan from members of the local community. Many of the items were actually used in service to the United States by the people who have lent them to the museum.
The museum has items from the American Civil War, WWI, WWII, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Persian Gulf War, the Iraq War and the War in Afghanistan. They are laid out in a manner more like a personal collection rather than a museum. There are no information placards, so I recommend a guided tour.
My guide during my visit was Lt. Col Carl E. Fleece, USAF (Ret.). The soft-spoken Col. Fleece is a former B-52 pilot who, at one point in his career, was the youngest man in the U.S. Air Force to become a B-47 pilot. With that kind of experience and knowledge, it is no surprise that I especially enjoyed the personalized approach that he provided to my experience at the museum.
We started by looking at some WWI-era photos of Col. Fleece’s father, and some actual items used during World War One. We spent the next hour or so viewing the displays that cover all of the above listed conflicts: vintage arms, such as rifles, pistols, and cannons and personal items such as uniforms, helmets, and commendations and medals.
Col. Fleece is a modest guy, so I did not see the display of his flight suit and pilot’s helmet until the end of the tour. He also had plenty of stories tell about his days as a SAC pilot. It is not often that a museum can show you the artifacts, and can also give you the chance to hear the stories behind the artifacts told by the people who actually used them.
Allow at least an hour for your tour of this museum. This is not a museum where you want to walk around alone and just view the items. Your guide will tell you about the display, and most importantly may tell you about the person who donated it. Many retired military personnel live in the Granbury area, so I have no doubt that your guide will be just as knowledgeable as my guide was.