Military museum highlights the life of a GI - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Military museum highlights the life of a GI

The goal of the ACYPL, which is more than 50 years old, is to understand political as well as civil society. (Photo source: WLOX) The goal of the ACYPL, which is more than 50 years old, is to understand political as well as civil society. (Photo source: WLOX)
OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) -

The GI Museum in Ocean Springs contains an incredible collection of uniforms, medals and decals, weapons and other rare artifacts that tell the stories of the men and women who fought on battlefields around the world defending America.

"I find these things all over the world. When you get into this network and are as connected as I've become, because I've been doing this all my life. Sometimes packages show up at the front door that you told someone seven years ago you were looking for a certain item and suddenly it appears," said Doug Mansfield. . 

Mansfield has spent most of his adult life on a mission to preserve military memorabilia and keep history alive. His goal is to personalize the experiences of service men and women by featuring items that GI's used in battle and in their everyday lives during some of the 20 century's epic wars on foreign soil. Mansfield goes all out to capture an authentic atmosphere.

 "It's more important for me to show the artifacts accurately because I am creating something that if I did it wrong, people would come in and believe it because it's a museum. I believe in historic accuracy," Mansfield said. 

 Doug thinks it's important to give younger generations a perspective on the life and times of a GI, but his favorite moments are when he hosts a veteran and their families and sees the very real memories that are sparked.

 "A lot of times when an older veteran comes in and this is the first time he can show his wife or children that is the pack that I wore or the ration that I ate or the helmet I wore and they can understand the stories he's been telling," said Mansfield.

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