May 5, 2010 – Katy, Texas – The Katy Veterans of Foreign WarsÂ Memorial Museum was recently the recipient of some of the prized possessions ofÂ one of the Post’s newest members.Â Clare Wilklow, now a resident of the Katy area,Â served on active duty with the US Army from 2001 to 2004.Â It was while on deployment that Clare came into the possession of a number of war related items.Â Â While stationed in Wiesbaden Germany with the Army’s 141stÂ Signal Battalion, Bravo Company her unitÂ was deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003.Â Her military occupation specialty (MOS) was 54 Bravo which is a nuclear, biological and chemical specialist.Â With this MOS, she was in the midst of theÂ search to find chemical weaponsÂ which could have ultimately beenÂ used by Saddam Hussein’s forces against the American troops and their allies – the coalition forces.Â In this capacity, she obtained many valuable artifacts and her gift of them to theÂ museum will help create a realistic setting for this wartime era.Â Â Accepting these scarce and treasured items on behalf of the Post was Jr. Vice Commander, Dave Brasell.
Some of the these donated items include: Â Iraqi chemical boots from Saddamâ€™s Republican Guard, Iraqi chemical gas mask (Russian style, probablyÂ supplied to the IraqiÂ Army after the Iraqi – Iranian War), Iraqi chemical decontamination kit with Arabic instructions, two log books from one of Saddam’s many BiologicalÂ Laboratories in BagdadÂ which are written in EnglishÂ as wellÂ as Arabic,Â and a mix of crystals and cut glass from a chandelierÂ in one of Saddamâ€™sÂ palaces.Â
Clare has also donated an international transistor radio she used in Iraq, a US 256 decontamination kit,Â her USÂ standard issue military eye glasses and her personal memoir with diary entries.Â One day Clare hopes to publish a book of her wartime experiences using herÂ diary entries.Â Other artifacts included her dessert combat uniform, aÂ battle dress uniform and meals ready to eat (MRE’s) which would be served by US soldiers to enemy prisoners of war (POW’s).Â TheseÂ MRE’s were personally delivered by her unit to the Iraqi POWâ€™s.Â Â Commander Lumpkin stated that, “Clare Wilklow’sÂ unique and wide variety of acquisitions and donations will provide a great representation of Operation Iraqi Freedom and her artifacts will definitely be an assetÂ to the VFW Memorial Museum, which is currently being expanded. Â These items will be on display when the remodeled museum reopens in the fall of this year.”Â DuringÂ her presentation to the museum, Clare took time to share some of her wartime experiences withÂ Post members, and humorously recalls that it was a great day when the unit received port-a-potties in August of 2002, during the early days of her deployment.
During the expansion of theÂ Veteran’s MemorialÂ Museum the curatorÂ is attempting to complete collections of some war-era uniforms and artifacts.Â Â AnÂ item of interest, the museumÂ isÂ hoping to obtain is an actualÂ pair of brown dress shoes worn by a member of the US Army during WW II.Â Because of the color and design of the uniform the US Army wore at that time, itÂ was referredÂ to as the “Brown Shoe Army”.Â The museum would greatly appreciate it if anyone could donate this addition to their collection.Â
Unique items from ALL of our nationâ€™s conflicts will be accepted for proper display in the new expanded museum.Â Items like the replica of George Washingtonâ€™s pistol, recently donated by the local chapter of the Sonâ€™s of the American Revolution, represents memorabilia fromÂ wars of our nation’s past.Â
If anyone is interested in donating military documents, artifacts, mementos or uniforms to the museum expansion project or if you have questions pertaining to how the VFW serves veterans and their families please contact Colonel (Ret) Peyton Lumpkin, Commander or Betty Edmundson, VFW Post 9182 at 281-391-8387.Â Post meetings are held at the VFW Hall on George Bush Dr. in Katy onÂ the first Monday of each month at 7:30 p.m.Â Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.