Vets museum honors those who served

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Sykes Funeral Home has partnered with Veterans Funeral Care to open the Tennessee Veterans Museum at Sykes, which will honor those who have served in the armed forces.

“It’s our way of saying thank you for your service,’ ” Stewart Sykes said

This will be the first museum of its kind in Tennessee, but this is the second partnership between Sykes Funeral Home and Jim Rudolph Jr. of Veterans Funeral Care. In May 2015, Sykes started the Flag Retirement Program associated with Veterans Funeral Care. The program has been very successful.

Sykes said he hopes to have an extensive collection of items from the Vietnam War.

“But if there is a group of veterans who deserve special attention and need their voices to be heard, it is the Vietnam veterans,” he said.

The collection is already growing with items from WWI, WWII, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan. The items include weapons, .30-caliber shells, office equipment, Navy, Marine and Army uniforms, Arctic clothing, medals, citations and awards, boots, books and maps.

“This museum is what is known as a living museum,” Sykes said. “Items on display will vary and be changed in and out on a regular basis. This helps ensure that the displays will feature new items and not be stagnant.”

Future plans for the museum include holding workshops and educational seminars as space permits, as well as small receptions for vets and family members. If a vet or their spouse wish to lie in state in the museum, then that will be arranged.

Sykes wants the public to know that if they have military surplus items or memorabilia that they would like to have displayed, they should contact him. Ownership of all museum items will remain with the owners, not with the museum.

In addition to being a living museum featuring a wide variety of memorabilia, the museum will also be a living memorial to all who have served in the military. The items on display represent the many sacrifices made by America’s military to preserve the nation’s freedom.

To learn more about the museum, go to sykesfuneralhome.com. You can also call the office at 931-647-1563.

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