The Military Museum of Fort Worth is unveiling a new exhibit the day after Thanksgiving to remember Pearl Harbor. Every six months, the small museum changes out its entire collection.
Swapping out displays and changing mannequins are all part of the makeover the 1,200 square-foot museum gets twice a year. The museum tries to keep things fresh and inviting so visitors will keep coming back.
It's free to see all of the memorabilia. A staff of all volunteers and donations from visitors have kept this museum going for two and a half years.
"Like anytime you're playing with a bunch of pieces of history and trying to tell a story, it's a lot like Tetris. You just keep looking for the right square to put in the right place. It can be hectic, but it's also fun. It's like solving a puzzle," said executive director Tyler Albert.
When the pieces of this puzzle come together, they will tell the story of the U.S. Navy and Marines through the 20th and 21st centuries.
"It just keeps their story alive," said museum board member Jim Barnett, a Korean War veteran. "And it's history, part of history, and it'd wind up in a trash dump somewhere."
He says every uniform, every photo, every war letter is important to preserve.
If you really want to know what it was like to serve in the Marines, the museum has a toy chest full of military gear for people to touch and try on, including a helmet, vest, water bucket, and combat pack.
"We do not have a museum just full of random artifacts from certain eras. All of the items we put on display are tied to a veteran," said Alberts.
And most tell the stories of Texas veterans.
The museum hopes to expand to have permanent exhibits year round.