EDINBURG, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The Museum of South Texas History (MOST) will open a temporary veteran’s exhibit that honors the historic contributions of South Texas veterans on Nov. 6 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The exhibit will showcase items from Rio Grande Valley veterans. Four to five display cases will be filled with “war chest” items such as gas masks, uniforms, medals, dog tags, bullets, and Lego sets built into military crafts.
U.S. Army Veteran Juan Gonzales provided the museum with a multitude of items, but one in particular that rushes in emotion for him is shrapnel. Shrapnel is fragments of a bomb or shell thrown out by an explosion.
“That shrapnel avoided hitting me directly and it’s a reminder for me every day to appreciate life and to appreciate everything we have,” said Gonzales.
Although a difficult memory for Gonzales to relive, “it’s a remembrance of the danger I was in.”
Gonzales wanted to put his items on display alongside other South Texas veterans for others to understand more in-depth the nature of the military and how many veterans live in the RGV.
According to the Texas Workforce Investment Council 2021 update, there are 1,509,835 veterans in Texas. In the lower RGV, there are between 16,500 and 29,899 veterans.
MOST’s Exhibits and Collections Coordinator, Melissa Peña told ValleyCentral with the number of veterans in our community, she is hoping this exhibit will lead to much needed conversations. “I know my grandfather didn’t talk about his service very often and I wish I could have had that conversation starter to get some of those stories before he passed away.”
Peña added those conversations are what will continue the history of veterans. She wants the history to be passed down through families and “if I can help facilitate by displaying a few items then yeah, that’s my goal.”
The museum has done an accurate job at collecting items that represent veterans and there are plans in the foreseeable future where more recognition will be given, according to Gonzales.
The exhibit will be open to the public with opening day being free to everyone. After that, only current military service members will receive a discount.
The exhibit will end Sunday, Nov. 21.
For more information about this program, contact the museum at 956-383-6911 or visit MOST.