Green River Star -

By Amanda Benson
Sweetwater County Historical Museum 

Helping American veterans at the county museum


August 9, 2017

August’s Artifact of the Month continues to focus on World War I artifacts in conjunction with the traveling World War I exhibit, “Home Front Posters of the Great War, 1917-1918,” from the Fort Casper Museum.

This month’s artifact is a wool garrison cap from a World War I uniform.

Attached to the hat are a pin and a badge. The pin’s logo is of the Corps Castle, which is the logo of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). The origin of the castle logo is unfortunately unknown. According to the USACE, “the official records of the Corps housed at the Military Academy at West Point disappeared in a pre-Civil War fire in 1838 that destroyed the building containing the records.”

Regardless of the origins of the castle, it was influential to the architectural design of some of the buildings at West Point.

The badge accompanying the Corps Castle pin is a U.S. Veterans of Foreign War badge awarded to members of the VFW. The ribbon is blue, white, red, and yellow. Attached to the ribbon is a medal of the VFW’s logo, which is a starburst Maltese cross with the United States seal in the center.

The VFW was established in 1899 by veterans of the Spanish-American War and the Philippine Insurrection. They modeled much of the organization after the Grand Army of the Republic, the Civil War veterans group. A person who served and was honorably discharged from any of the United States’ armed forces and served in a U.S. war, campaign, or expedition on foreign soil is eligible for membership.

The pin and badge on this garrison cap represent a long history of U.S. military history, as well as a history of American veterans. In fact, without the support of the VFW, this traveling exhibit would be impossible. They have been instrumental in transporting the exhibit across the state.

In addition, for the duration of the exhibition at the Sweetwater County Museum, we are collecting monetary donations for a veterans’ charity, Disabled American Veterans. The DAV provides support to disabled veterans and their families by paying medical costs, securing veterans’ employment, representing veterans’ interests at governmental levels, and providing transportation for veterans. One hundred percent of the donations will be given to the DAV. The DAV is also looking for volunteer drivers to transport veterans to the VA Hospital. Please contact the Museum for more information.

The traveling “Home Front Posters of the Great War, 1917-1918” exhibit will be on display until Oct. 8. The Sweetwater County Museum is open Monday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.


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