BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Changing of the guard. Since the 9/11 attack, the role of the Maryland National Guard has drastically changed.
Now a new museum exhibit shows how soldiers went from protecting state borders to joining a global war on terror.
Gigi Barnett has more.
The combat gear worn by Maryland National Guard soldiers tell the stories of war in Afghanistan, Iraq and every mission since September 11.
Maryland soldiers were there. It’s all in a new exhibit at the Fifth Regiment Armory.
“Many of our soldiers have gone through separate rotations and have deployed multiple times and this is a great way to honor their service,” said National Guard Spokesman Lt. Col. Charles Kohler.
Every uniform, piece of equipment and artifact were used by actual soldiers. Over the years, the gear has changed thanks to technology—and yes, the dirt and blood are real.
“In July of ’05 was the last time I saw my son alive,” said David McMullen.
David McMullen’s son, Sgt. Michael McMullen’s, uniform is featured in the museum. He was hit by a roadside bomb in Iraq on Christmas Eve 2005 while trying to help another wounded soldier. McMullen’s family gave the go-ahead to use his likeness in the exhibit.
“Knowing that he’s going to be remembered for what he’d done, it gives me great joy,” David McMullen said.
The Maryland National Guard has deployed more than 10,000 soldiers overseas since the War on Terror began.
The museum is the state’s first one dedicated to combat in the post-9/11 era.