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Largo military museum on Memorial Day: Heroes on the Homefront gather at a special place

12:23 PM, Jun 23, 2011   |    comments
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A Soviet Union MiG21 fighter jet on display at The Armed Forces Military Museum in Largo.

Largo, Florida -- Even here, surrounded by military memorabilia and stirring stories, it's a tough call: Is Memorial Day for celebrating? Or only for somber reflection?

For Boy Scouts from Troop 355, it's a day of service.

Scout Riley Michaels and his fellow Heroes on the Homefront gathered more than 3,000 items -- toothpaste, sunblock, deodorant, and more -- and brought them to this special place.

It's the amazing Armed Forces Military Museum in Largo. The museum launched the drive for those supplies and will ship them overseas to American troops.

The scouts wanted to help folks fighting right now. But the museum and its impressive exhibits work to honor people who have served in the past.

One of those inspiring men and women is Capt. L.T. Schroeder. The helmet and boots he wore on D-Day as he led a team of soldiers onto the beach to retake Europe from the Nazis is on display.

His daughter, Jane, is a volunteer at the museum and spends every Memorial Day here.

"I feel him here," she said, looking at all of the military items and displays designed to bring the service of people like her father to life. "He's all over this place."

The museum's newest element is a Soviet fighter jet, which is being dedicated this Memorial Day. The sight of it can flash you back to the Cold War and decades of fear.

But the fact that it's at an American museum today, and not soaring as an enemy over American skies, is cause for both Memorial Day emotions: reflection and celebration.

Connect with 10 News multi-media journalist Grayson Kamm
on Facebook | twitter @graysonkamm | or e-mail at this link

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