PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — This New Jersey spot requires advance planning and a valid ID to get in, but it’s worth it to see the Army Reserve Mobilization Museum.
On the Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, the uniforms have changed, but the mission and memories of the Army remain.
“Every display is like a window into the past: how people dressed then, what they wore, how heavy their loads were that they carried on their backs,” said curator Mindy Rosewitz. She is passionate about preserving this past. Here, you can walk through war history starting with the American Revolution all the way to the present day.
“First thing I noticed is all these big cases with the big statues,” Meisha said.
Mindy explained the mannequins depict the citizen soldier, and not just with uniforms. She took Meisha to a mannequin seated on a bed.
“It’s a diorama showing a scene of an American soldier in 1917. That would be the soldier’s bed. It would be warmed by a pot-bellied stove.”
Inside glass cases, “we’ve got some demilitarized weapons that were used by soldiers, all inactive, and used to protect the country.”
Meisha and Mindy took a seat in the front of a Jeep. “This is an original, 1970s Vietnam era Jeep,” Mindy said. “People love it. They ask if they can see the engine. They reminisce a lot. They tell their stories.”
Meisha explained that her father fought in Vietnam, so the Jeep had “special significance” for her.
Everywhere, walls are papered with old photographs and newspaper clippings. “There’s so much to look at,” Meisha said.
Before she left, Meisha sidled up to the 1917 soldier to thank him for his service. “A man of very few words,” she joked.
The Army Reserve Mobilization Museum is on the Fort Dix side of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. Since the museum is on a military base, members of the general public must register at least three days in advance of a planned visit. Call 609-562-2334 to register. When you arrive, a valid photo ID will be required to obtain a visitor’s pass before you will be allowed to enter the base and the museum. Those with prior access to the post, such as a Military Retiree Card, will be allowed in.
Museum hours are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. It reopens at 12:30 p.m. until 4 p.m. The museum is closed on federal holidays.