One recent day we spent some time wandering the marvelously old former Red Shield Inn which now houses Ft. Lewis’s military museum. It is two stories of dioramas and displays of weaponry, uniforms, and historical artifacts and an outside yard full of old tanks and missiles.
The Inn itself was originally built by the Salvation Army in 1919 and was used as a lodge and social center for Camp Lewis soldiers and visitors. Following WWI the US Army directly purchased the inn and ran it as the Ft. Lewis Inn. Due to stimulus money, the old building is due for some renovation within the next two years and shows she needs it.
We always find something surprising in museum visits; some little odd quirks of history that prove fascinating. Today was no exception as we read the stories of the statue of Saddam Hussein which were destroyed at his palace in Iraq and ended up here in the state of Washington.
A blast to the past was a training poster showing the way the Viet Cong tunnel systems worked.
And of particular interest to me was a ring of old skeleton keys which opened doors in Hitler’s private rooms in his Berchtesgaden getaway.
We are really enjoying our time here on Ft. Lewis. It is a tranquil oasis compared to the hustle bustle of the rest of the region and enjoys much open space, forested areas and lovely old buildings. The base is huge; the largest military base I have been on and occupies prime location just south of Tacoma stretching nearly to Lacey and over to the bay. Unfortunately, picture taking is frowned upon save for some excluded areas like the museum, so in the interest of wanting to keep my digital camera I have decided not to test the rules. Of course, of most interest to us, it is a prime source of area civilian employment and we hope just maybe a job will be waiting here for us. Time to go to ground and do some work figuring it all out!