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Washington D.C. Day 4: Family Time and the Marine Corps. Museum

Updated on April 15, 2015

Our Wednesday Afternoon Drive

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A markerNational Marine Corps Museum Virginia -
National Museum of the Marine Corps, 18900 Jefferson Davis Highway, Triangle, VA 22172, USA
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B markerWashington DC -
Washington, DC, USA
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We Love to Go Visiting!

When Mr. Chaffee and I planned this trip, we also wanted to make sure that we had time to visit some family while we were in the area. I come from a big family, and so I don't get to see some of my aunts, uncles and cousins that often! The last time I saw my Aunt Mary and Uncle Bob was at my wedding last May, so we were very excited to see them this week!

I also wanted to see the National Marine Corps. Museum. When we started talking about cleaning up the soldier's memorial in our neighborhood, we looked at the fact that he was a Purple Heart medal holder. This meant a lot to me because my Grandfather had also received a Purple Heart in World War 2 as a soldier in the Marines. One of the places that he liked to visit in his travels was this museum, so it meant a lot to me that I could see it too. My Uncle Bob was also a soldier in the Marines when he was younger, so he had a lot of information to share with us!


The Outside of the Museum

This museum is pretty new, and you can see the pointy part in the sky right from the highway! It's meant to symbolize the sword that some Marine's carry as part of their uniform.
This museum is pretty new, and you can see the pointy part in the sky right from the highway! It's meant to symbolize the sword that some Marine's carry as part of their uniform.
LIke the soldiers in this photo... See their swords? They don't use them. They're mostly for decoration and special events!
LIke the soldiers in this photo... See their swords? They don't use them. They're mostly for decoration and special events!

Branches of the Military

Talking about the soldier (Roland Lavoie)'s memorial in our neighborhood brought up a lot of discussion in class about soldiers and people in the Armed Forces. There are many different branches and jobs that they do.

They could be in the Army, the Navy, the Marines, the Coast Guard, or the Air Force.

They can work on submarines, in airplanes, in hospitals, or on huge boats.

They can work in the United States, or in other countries helping people in far away lands to be safe as well.

Each of these groups works very hard to protect our country and our freedom, but some people think that soldiers are just about guns and violence. This is not true! The Marine Corps Museum tries to show people about all of the other things that soldiers do around the world, and I want to share some of those ideas with you! I hope that in seeing some of the pictures, that you will get to see how much soldiers in the Armed Forces do for us and for people around the world, and that these men, women and animals deserve our respect and our thanks!

Lots of Planes and Vehicles

Marines and other soldiers often have to use special military vehicles in order to do their jobs. I tried to take some pictures of all the planes, cars and trucks that they have in the museum. A lot of these things were used in wars many years ago, and they are now on display so that people can see how much they have changed over time!

Would You Want to Drive or Fly Any of These?

One of the very first airplane models!
One of the very first airplane models!
Sometimes soldiers use tanks or armored cars, but they really need protection! Not much can hurt them through the metal on these trucks!
Sometimes soldiers use tanks or armored cars, but they really need protection! Not much can hurt them through the metal on these trucks!
Jeeps were very popular in the military!
Jeeps were very popular in the military!
This is an engine that they took out of one of the planes hanging in the museum! It was too heavy to hang from the ceiling, so they put it on display!
This is an engine that they took out of one of the planes hanging in the museum! It was too heavy to hang from the ceiling, so they put it on display!
CG check out the landing gear on this one!
CG check out the landing gear on this one!
They even have a helicopter in here!
They even have a helicopter in here!
You can go up to the second floor to get a better view of the planes!
You can go up to the second floor to get a better view of the planes!

Bringing Soldiers to Life

Another cool thing about this museum is that they try to show people how hard it is to be a soldier at times. They have a cold room so that you can feel the frigid (really REALLY cold) air that some soldiers had to live in during the Korean War, and they showed you how their bunks (beds) had to be made. In some rooms, the floor moved like you were standing on a boat, that way you know what it would feel like to be sailing as a Marine. There was even piece of a plane that you could run out of to see and hear what it would feel like to run out of the back of the plane and into a field! It was super loud! I got a video of it to share with you when I get back!

What Being a Soldier Might Be Like

Walking through the forest...
Walking through the forest...
The Cold Room... Although it really just felt like a cool spring day in Rhode Island! I guess we're used to it!
The Cold Room... Although it really just felt like a cool spring day in Rhode Island! I guess we're used to it!
Marine Corps. pilot uniform and helmets!
Marine Corps. pilot uniform and helmets!
Would you want to sleep on these beds?
Would you want to sleep on these beds?
This is the part of the airplane that you can run out of. It sounds like the engines are actually running and your commander (boss soldier) is giving you orders!!
This is the part of the airplane that you can run out of. It sounds like the engines are actually running and your commander (boss soldier) is giving you orders!!

Just a Few Examples...

Tools of the Trade

Soldiers today have some pretty awesome tools and things that they can use to do their jobs. Computers have made it much easier to do so many things! A long time ago, before cameras and things like that, soldiers had to rely on different tools to get messages and information to other people.

I don't usually like to put weapons on my blog, but these cannons are some of the oldest ones still around today! These cannons were from 1812... so they're over 200 years old!
I don't usually like to put weapons on my blog, but these cannons are some of the oldest ones still around today! These cannons were from 1812... so they're over 200 years old!
We talked about this one in class before too! This is a phonograph, like a very old Ipod. What might the soldiers use this for?
We talked about this one in class before too! This is a phonograph, like a very old Ipod. What might the soldiers use this for?
This periscope let the soldiers look out over hills and things in their way to see if it was safe to go out. You look in through the bottom, and mirrors help you look out of the top!
This periscope let the soldiers look out over hills and things in their way to see if it was safe to go out. You look in through the bottom, and mirrors help you look out of the top!
One Marine received a lot of medels for his bravery! Can you spot the one that we got to hold in class?
One Marine received a lot of medels for his bravery! Can you spot the one that we got to hold in class?
Can you guess what these are? I'll give you a hint..... you use them to take pictures!
Can you guess what these are? I'll give you a hint..... you use them to take pictures!
Flags play an important part in the daily life of a soldier. They often are a symbol of a safe place where soldiers and people can find shelter, medicine and safety. This flag was raised over Iwo Jima in Japan.... remember that for tomorrow's blog!!!
Flags play an important part in the daily life of a soldier. They often are a symbol of a safe place where soldiers and people can find shelter, medicine and safety. This flag was raised over Iwo Jima in Japan.... remember that for tomorrow's blog!!!

The Bottom Line

Each soldier, no matter what part of the military they are in, has an important job to do. They are here to protect us and our freedom and to help keep our country safe. Soldiers aren't just about fighting. They are there to help others, even people they have never met before! Even if really bad things happen, or have happened, we have soldiers and other safety people like police and firefighters to help us!

One thing that I would love for you to remember, is that we should always be able to help others, even if we have never met them before! That is part of our community service in class, but it will help all of us as we get older! That is what soldiers do too!

Semper Fi: Always Loyal

Young or old, big or small, they are here to help us all!
Young or old, big or small, they are here to help us all!

Tomorrow's Schedule

I'm very excited to video chat with you all again tomorrow afternoon!! I'm hoping that we will be somewhere cool so that I can show you some of the amazing things that we are seeing in Washington D.C.!

Tomorrow we are going to go to Arlington National Cemetary, which has many interesting monuments and memorials, and then we are going to go to the Air and Space Museum because we missed it the other day! Hopefully we can get there before it closes!

Can't wait to talk to you tomorrow!!! :)

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