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Gregg County Historical Museum exhibit honors women in war

By Jessica Ferguson
July 17, 2012 at 10 p.m.

There may not be much information readily available about the role of women in war history, but that doesn't mean women weren't there.

In order to prove this, the Gregg County Historical Museum is hosting an exhibit that takes visitors on a journey through war from the perspective of Longview and Gregg County women.

"While the perception is that women don't play a pivotal role in war, that is not true," said Nicole Joseph, assistant director of the Gregg County Historical Museum.

The exhibit, held in the museum's Education Center, will run through Sept. 1.

The walk-through begins with a World War I display. During the war, a woman named Molly Cheney wrote troops who were in battle so they could hear from someone in the states, Joseph said.

Then, in World War II, museum visitors can see Harmon General Hospital, which once stood at the site of present-day LeTourneau University on South Mobberly Street.

"There were soldiers injured in the war who were sent by train to the hospital," Joseph said. "People remember seeing the ambulances lined up at the train station to pick up wounded soldiers to bring to the hospital."

Women helped nurse those soldiers back to health.

The Korean and Vietnam war exhibits include interactive items.

"There will be items like hand grenades and cannons that the children can actually touch."

The exhibit closes with a glimpse of the evolving roles of women, with a parachuting woman on display.

Parachuting is a position only reserved for men.

"It shows how times have changed and jobs women have the potential to do," she said of the exhibit.

The museum is still open to adding stories of local women who have helped in wartime efforts, whether on the front lines or the home front.

The museum will hold a free reception Thursday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. to honor of all of the women who have assisted in the war effort.



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