The Museum recently played host to a group of 4th Force Reconnaissance US Marines, who toured exhibits with Senior Historian Robert Citino, PhD, and visited the newly expanded Center for Collections & Archives with Curator Larry Decuers.
The visit was arranged by Captain James H. Clement III, Officer in Charge of the team and a member of the Museum’s Board of Trustees.
“We were deployed to Central America, and I wanted to give them a tour as a thank-you for their service down there, and to introduce young Marines to The National WWII Museum for the first time,” Captain Clement said. “Recon Marines are descendants of the Marine Raiders of World War II.”
The Museum experience—which included meeting Forrest Villarrubia, a volunteer and Marine Corps veteran of the Pacific theater in World War II—was memorable for the team, Clement said.
“They were incredibly impressed with the knowledge of all of those involved and the size and scope of the Museum,” he said. “They were overwhelmed and all said they wanted to come back as soon as possible and as many times as possible. The future is strong for the Museum—these men were hungry for more!”
Dr. Citino and Decuers were equally effusive with praise for their guests.
“While it's always a treat to show around our WWII veterans, it's a special privilege to host those who are currently serving, who lay it on the line for our country every day,” Dr. Citino said. “And let me tell you—these guys were tuned-in: commenting on the exhibits, asking questions, bringing the energy! Spending an afternoon with these young Marines made me proud to be an American.”
Added Decuers: “The Museum is fortunate to host so many great visitors, and I’ve had some amazing groups before in the vault on Behind the Lines tours and the like, but this was a special tour. No one has a better appreciation or respect for this material than current servicemembers. These guys are the direct descendants of one of World War II’s most elite fighting units. What these Marines do in defense of our country today will be in the history books of tomorrow. They’re welcome back any time.”