WOOD COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - A piece of rolling military history made its way through a half dozen Wood County towns Wednesday with an exhibit that will be on display for the Veteran's Observance Week.
The American Veterans Traveling Tribute is educating a new generation on the tradition of service and sacrifice by our military over the years. Stopping at schools in Quitman, Winnsboro and Yantis, the rolling museum gave kids a new idea of what sacrifice really is.
"It's never really hit me until just a few minutes ago [when I was] looking around and seeing all the people that are actually here with us today," said Kasi Geraci, 18. "It's made me realize what they've done for our country."
The tribute not only contains a replica of the Vietnam Memorial Wall, but memorials to all veterans of service from World War II through Iraq.
"This is a chance to show our kids that Vietnam did happen and there was a lot that happened there," said Bill Wansley, the Wood County Sheriff and Vietnam veteran. "It's not forgotten."
For many veterans, it's an emotional reminder of the cost of war.
"It's a national identity that we have more than anything else and for them to get to see this wall and see people's names attached to it, it means a lot to me," said David Pinnell, a school teacher and Iraq War Army veteran.
Traveling 30,000 to 40,000 miles each year, the tribute showcases rare photographs and documents the lives of average servicemen in all war periods.
"Our mission is to take these warriors around the country take them back to the communities where they were from so that those communities friends and families can honor respect and remember the sacrifices that were made," said John Dumesnio, with the American Veteran's Traveling Tribute.
The American Veterans Traveling Tribute will be on display at the Mineola Civic Center from 12pm-8pm on Thursday and from 8am-8pm Friday, Saturday and Sunday.