The National Guard and WWII Coastal Defense

By Kevin Brown Coastal defense was an ongoing theme in American military history from 1776 to the beginning of the Cold War. The country’s leadership saw the United States as vulnerable to attacks and invasions. The rise of fascism in the 1930s under Adolf Hitler, Hideki Tojo, and Benito Mussolini only heightened anxieties. Increasingly belligerent [...]

Andrew’s Raiders and the First Medals of Honor

By Will Roulett Visitors to the National Guard Memorial Museum have probably walked through the Medal of Honor Gallery. It is a tribute to 147 Guardsmen who received the Medal since 1898. However, the Medal of Honor was first presented on March 25, 1863, to six of the surviving members of Andrew’s Raiders. Their exploits [...]

Norma Parsons-Erb and Guard Trailblazers

By Kevin Brown Several years after President Harry S. Truman signed Executive Order 9981 ending racial segregation in the United States armed services, Congress allowed women to serve as reserve officers with Public Law 845 on July 30th, 1956. Public Law 845 only allowed women to serve as appointed nurses and other medical specialists in [...]

Gen. Henry V. Graham and the Schoolhouse Door

By Kevin Brown The civil rights movement propelled meaningful changes to the country’s tapestry in the decades following World War II. Alabama Army National Guard officer Henry Vance Graham was a witness who facilitated these changes during the Civil Rights era’s most heated moments in the 1960s. Henry Graham was born and raised in Birmingham, [...]

Remembering Vietnam: The National Guard’s Role

By Will Roulett President Obama released a proclamation that recognized May 28, 2012, through November 11, 2025, as the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam war. Congress cited five objectives of the Vietnam War Commemoration. The primary objective is to thank and honor veterans of the Vietnam War. 2023 will be marked by thousands of events [...]

The National Archives Veterans Record Fire of 1973

By Kevin Brown We frequently receive requests here at the National Guard Memorial Museum from historians and relatives of guardsmen for assistance with service records. However, this isn’t always easy due to a devastating 1973 fire that impacted military service-related documents at the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC). The fire, which affected the Federal government’s [...]

The National Guard’s WWII Aleutian Islands Campaign Service

By Kevin Brown The Aleutian Islands, halfway between Asia and North America, are strategically vital for the United States. The Alaskan Island chain is a critical checkpoint for transpacific communications. The Aleutians were no less essential during World War II when the Japanese Empire invaded the Island chain as part of a larger Pacific offensive [...]

Hot Museum Summer

By Montana CowardThis summer I had the chance to intern for the National Guard Memorial Museum. Currently, I am a graduate student at George Washington in the Museum Studies Master’s program with a concentration in collections management. Previously, I received my undergraduate degree at Christopher Newport University where I majored in History and minored in [...]

Herman G. Leitz’s Headlines

By Montana Coward Herman G. Leitz with His Newspaper Headlines(Courtesy of Carl Hartup/ The News-Sentinel August 14, 1985) Herman G. Leitz, an Indiana man working as a security guard at the Studebaker plant during World War II, collected almost 1,000 American newspaper headlines documenting the war. Leitz was frustrated by his small recollection of the [...]

The 9/11 Era Gallery Memorial Wall

New York Army Guard Specialist Roshan Singh Lost his Life at the World Trade Center on 9/11. By Kevin Brown Over 800 National Guard members have made the ultimate sacrifice since September 11, 2001. Several Guard members died in the horrific 9/11 attacks at the Pentagon and World Trade Center. One of these members was [...]