Museum of the American G.I. 

Despite the common Hollywood trope, the exhibits at your average museum are not in any danger of springing to life. But the Museum of the American G.I. in College Station is no ordinary museum. Here, the displays are ready to jump into action at a moment’s notice. The museum boasts one of the best collections of restored and operational World War I, World War II, and later era American military vehicles in the South. If you visit at the right time, you can catch them being operated in all their glory during one of the most exciting living history events in Texas. It’s all part of this unique museum that was created to honor the American servicemen and servicewomen who have served their country.

All of the military vehicles on display at this American military museum are not just operational but restored to look exactly like they did when they came off the assembly line. There are utility vehicles, like the Ford “Seep” and the Cold-War era “MUTT;” half-tracks and an armored car; and even tanks, such as the legendary M4A1 Sherman. And those are just the land-based vehicles. A WWII drone, a patrol boat from the Vietnam War, and a Bell helicopter represent the U.S. military’s air and sea operations, while two Howitzers and an M3 anti-tank gun serve as examples of classic artillery.

Since the museum is dedicated to the G.I. Joes and Janes who used this equipment, each vehicle is accompanied by its own story. It also houses uniforms, medals, and badges of the brave men and women who stepped up and served their country. It also recognizes Texans lost in Vietnam with the award-winning Texas Vietnam Heroes Exhibit, featuring 3,417 dog tags embossed with soldiers’ names, ranks, branches of service, dates of loss, and hometowns. Fascinating propaganda posters from both world wars are displayed in the museum, as well.

Though the museum is an amazing experience year-round, its special events add some unforgettable and immersive aspects to a visit. On the third Saturday of each month from June to September, youngsters can climb inside the historic vehicles and inspect the WWII guns up-close through the Night at the Museum program. During the Living History Weekend in March, one of the top events in College Station and the Brazos Valley, you’ll have the opportunity to fire a Howitzer, ride in a tank or chopper, watch small arms demonstrations, and witness the largest WWII battle reenactment in the South. The weekend also functions as a swap meet for vehicle parts, uniforms, patches, medals, and more, as well as a military vehicle rally for history buffs and gearheads.

As the Greatest Generation fades, the work of the Museum of the American G.I. and others like it will be more important than ever. Visit today and remember the sacrifices made by Americans of each generation who have answered the call to arms.

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