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Military Heritage Center to honor all veterans

The Eagle - 8/20/2017

By JOHN D. WHITE and JOHN A. ADAMS

The members of the board of directors of From Bastogne to Texas Inc. appreciate the coverage The Eagle's Editorial Board gave to our proposed Military Heritage Center in Veterans Park adjacent to the Brazos Valley Veterans Memorial. We would like to share some facts regarding this effort and clarify our mission.

The center has a very broad focus. It includes not only the Battle of the Bulge and World War II as a whole, but also all of our nation's military conflicts. It includes not just the five Aggies highlighted in the Texas Aggies Go to War exhibit, but also all Aggies and, indeed, all who have served in the United States military.

The center will help preserve our heritage and our military history. With displays that will change over time when available and appropriate, it will further the education of current and future generations. We believe our plan for including space for conferences and meetings adds to the educational mission.

The board of From Bastogne to Texas believes in the synergy developed by working with the Brazos Valley Veterans Memorial, and we have consulted with its board beginning early in the project. In addition, we have worked with the Museum of the American G.I., the Sam Houston Sanders Corps of Cadets Center, the Cushing Memorial Library and Archives, and the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum. Plus, we have spoken with veterans organizations such as the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Buffalo Soldiers. All the groups we have worked with have expressed support for this project.

We are also thankful for the support of the city of College Station and its Parks and Recreation Department. From Bastogne to Texas knows College Station, Bryan and Brazos County will benefit from those who come to experience the center, both locally and from out of town. Visitors to our area provide revenues to our restaurants, hotels and other businesses as they take time to enjoy facilities such as the Veterans Memorial. We know the Military Heritage Center will be yet another reason for people to visit and stay.

The Editorial Board's Aug. 13 editorial references our plan for changing exhibits and including space for conferences and meetings. We appreciate this acknowledgment. In response to the board's belief that a focus is needed that is broader than the Texas Aggies Go to War exhibit, we agree, and indeed, From Bastogne to Texas has had that focus from the beginning of planning for the Military Heritage Center.

We are excited about the opportunity to make this outstanding community even better through an educational, enriching project honoring all who have served us. We appreciate The Eagle for allowing us to share our mission, and we look forward to working with everyone in the community to build this facility.

You may learn more about the project at aggiesgotowar.org, and we hope you will visit the Texas Aggies Go to War exhibit in the J. Wayne Stark Galleries in Texas A&M's Memorial Student Center, open through Dec. 16.

John D. White, '70, is chairman of the board of From Bastogne to Texas Inc.John A. Adams, '73, is executive director.

 
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