March 17, 2013 – The National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center

We drove south to Columbus, GA to meet Lynn and Frank Fowler, friends we met in Naples the past two years.  After a tour of their home, we took Frank’s car and drove to the National Infantry Museum and Soldier Museum, a 190,000-square-foot museum opened in June 2009 on a 200-acre tract of hardwoods and pines just outside the gates of the Fort Benning, one of the Army’s largest installations, the home of the US Army’s Infantry forces.

The first monument we encountered was that honoring our country’s MIAs from World War I through Somalia.

 

 The museum building is impressive

and a large statue of an infantry soldier towers under its entry dome.

Our tour took us past two 12-lb, Confederate Civil War canons

 

and through a 100-yard long, life-size diorama depicting major American infantry actions from the Revolution to Iraq/Afghanistan.

American Revolution

Civil War

World War I

World War II

Korean Conflict

Vietnam War

Iraq

Afghanistan

Why 100 yards?  No matter how effective air actions, naval bombardments and army/marine artillery and tank are, the last 100 yards in any theater must be taken and secured by ground forces … the infantry.

There are a number of separate wings, each dedicated to the history, military involvements, weapons, uniforms, and technologies developed and utilized by our fighting forces.  One could spend one to several hours in each reading, viewing and trying to absorb the information on display.  It’s a bit like trying to drink from a fire hose!

A separate moving, display honors infantry recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Just a very few items of interest were some of the past recruiting posters,

Including some which would never pass muster in today’s political correct environment

the “Belly Flopper” a mobile gun platform which proved totally useless in battle.

the extent of the NAZI work, concentration and extermination camp network,

a Port Hole from the USS Maine,

a section of the Berlin Wall,

and a trench periscope used by the American Expeditionary Forces during World War I.

Leaving the Museum, we drove through Columbus … through

with its brick paved streets

and beautiful old homes … most dating from the 1880s.

One small home, in particular, was of interest.

It belonged to a physician, John Pemberton, who moved to Columbus in 1855 and manufactured drugs and soft drinks.  After fighting for the Confederacy, Lt. Co. Pemberton returned to his drug store and factory.

In 1870, Pemberton moved to Atlanta.  When local prohibition began there in 1886, he began marketing his most popular drink, French Win of Coca, without the wine, renaming it Coke-Cola.  Tragically, he died two years later in 1888 and never reaped any of the profits from his creation.

On the way home, we spotted one of the Wal-Mart escapees.

This evening we had a delicious dinner at Frank’s and Lynn’s.

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