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The Globe Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Thursday, November 11, 2010
by John Skipper

Veterans ‘museum’ is full of memories

MASON CITY — Everybody at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 733 in Mason City has heard and told some "old war stories," but veterans Chuck HARRIS and Jack McCOURT have provided some great fodder for them.

HARRIS and McCOURT got the idea last year to start collecting war memorabilia and create an exhibit at the post, at 1603 S. Monroe Ave.

What started out as a display has turned into a mini-museum with relics dating back to the Spanish-American War.

What first catches the eye of the observer is the front pages of newspapers mounted on a wall with headlines shouting the latest war news.

Displayed all around the newspapers are Japanese, Russian and Chinese rifles; German bayonets and swords; a World War I gas mask; a rifle from the Spanish-American War; a Nazi flag; as well as helmets, artillery shells and uniforms from all branches of the armed services.

There is also a deck of cards bearing photos of enemy planes.

"I guess I like the rifles the best — and maybe the helmets. Heck, I don't know, it's all interesting," said HARRIS.

McCOURT said the memorabilia is displayed where old baseball and bowling trophies used to be.

He's anxious for the public to come in and take a look.

Harris said the VFW could use the public’s help in another venture.

"We try to meet the needs of disabled vets," he said.

"We could use some wheelchairs, some stools for bath tubs, walkers and toilet risers."

Anyone interested in helping is asked to call HARRIS at 641-423-2280.

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, May of 2011


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