Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Texas Military Forces Museum ~ Austin, TX

I have a boy who's obsessed with tanks.  And planes.  And cammo clothes.  And all things military.  So when I discovered there was a museum with Military History right here in Austin, I knew it was the perfect place to take my little guy.  

The Brigadier General John C. L. Scribner Texas Military Forces Museum is located on Camp Mabry in Austin, Texas.  Camp Mabry is home to the Joint Force Headquarters of the Texas Military Forces, the Headquarters of the Texas Army National Guard, the Texas Air National Guard, and the 36th Infantry Division.  An active military post, civilians are welcome on property with a proper photo I.D.

The museum has five major exhibit areas, each highlighting a different part of the Texas Military Forces history.

Walking in, you are overwhelmed with how many vehicles are on display in the Great Hall.  We were thrilled to see a horse-drawn wagon from 1901, a Sherman Tank, helicopters, and several jeeps from each major war.  It was pretty neat to see all these vehicles used somehow and somewhere in combat, up close and personal.

Many of the other exhibit halls highlight different military eras and Texans' part in them.  The Cold War to the Global War on Terror exhibit, covers the story of Texas Military Forces from WWII to present time. Artifacts seen in this exhibit include a portion of the Berlin Wall, captured enemy weapons, and patches and helmets of Texans fighting over in Iraq & Afghanistan.

Many of the exhibits are hands on - touch the portion of the Berlin Wall, try on the various uniforms our soldiers wear and feel the weight of them, or sit in the cockpit of a training jet.....

One of our favorite galleries was the 36th Infantry Division History.  We were honored to see a hall honoring the members of the 36th Infantry Division who earned the Medal of Honor during WWII.  It was a privilege explaining to my kids what this meant.  We also learned about the Choctaw code-talkers who helped out in WWI.

The amount of history you can see at the museum is vast.  It is displayed in a way that is interesting to all ages.  

Outside has even more to see with the Armor Row and Artillery Park.  My sons and husband took their time walking through all the tanks, artillery and self-propelled guns. My husband has served and has driven tanks, so this was an awesome opportunity for him to talk about what he drove and what it was like.

Across from the Museum are the Camp Mabry Parade grounds where you can see several jets and helicopters up close.  I have always looked at these jets in wonder as we drove past them on Mopac, but reading their history and seeing them in front of you gives you a new appreciation for the men & women who fought in these machines.  

Several weekends throughout the year, the Texas Military Forces Museum hosts WWII reenactments, pulling several of the vehicles and tanks out onto the Parade Grounds. What a fun way to see these vehicles in action!

I love that we have such an incredible resource to honor our vast military history here in Texas.  And I encourage everyone to visit this amazing Museum.  It is an incredible way to teach us about the Texans who have fought for our great state and our great nation.

Other Fun Things to Do in Austin:

Texas Travel Facts for Texas Military Forces Museum:
Location: Camp Mabry, 2200 West 35th Street, Austin, TX
Hours: Wednesday - Sunday 10 am - 4 pm
Admission: FREE - Photo I.D. needed to gain access on Camp Mabry
Recommended Time: 2 hours 
Good to know: Exhibits are both indoors & outdoors; gift shop is available

No comments: