The museum and hall of fame are located at 911 Revis Sirmon Loop at the Chris Crusta Airport. It sits in a large green metallic warehouse at the Abbeville airport.
It is open three days a week, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Some of the guest book’s signatures are people from Baton Rouge, Scott, Franklin, and Lafayette. For every six signatures, only one is from Vermilion Parish.
Crystal Mouton, the director, wants to change that. She is on a mission to try and get the word out in the parish about the museum that is free to view. “I think people are unaware that we have a great museum in Abbeville to honor the veterans,” said Mouton.
One reason why many in the parish do not know there is a museum is because there are no signs on major streets in the parish letting anyone know that the museum exists. She is, however, working on solving that problem.
In the meantime, Mouton is doing her best to try and recruit people to visit the facility. She has given talks to local organizations, along with speaking with children at schools. She has brought war artifacts to schools to educate children.
“They are always fascinated when they see things from the war,” Mouton said
Inside the museum are displays of World War II, Korean and Vietnam artifacts that have been donated.
There is a Higgins boat on display. The museum encourages people to step inside and get the view that soldiers got during World War II.
There is also a helicopter hanging from the ceiling that flew in Vietnam.
A display of Revis Sirmon’s war artifacts is on display, along with other WWII displays. There are bombs, grenades, bullets, and war helmets to look at.
In the middle of the museum is another museum that displays nine soldiers who fought in previous wars that have been inducted into the hall of fame.
Also, when Mouton is not giving tours, she may be taping a veteran giving his or her war stories. For free, any veteran can sit with Mouton for a few minutes and tell her their experience of being in Germany, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq or anywhere else while in the military.
She video tapes the conversation and then sends the video to Baton Rouge where they edit it. After about three months, they send back all of the videos to the museum. They then go on display and are played for anyone to view them.
“They love to tell their stories,” Mouton said. “I have laughed and cried with them. Their memories are amazing.”
If Mouton is not there to give tours, the museum is run by volunteers. Around six men or women volunteer their time from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. three days a week.
Lee Trahan of Erath gives at least four days a month to the museum.
“I volunteer, because I want to see the museum succeed,” said Trahan. “If we do not have volunteers, it would not be a success.”
Anyone who wants to volunteer their time or have a group tour, they can call Mouton (652-2751) or the museum (898-9645).