Stillwater Veteran's Impressive Collection Of Military Memorabilia

Monday, May 26th 2014, 10:03 pm
By: News 9

For more than 70 years, a Marine Corps veteran has been collecting military memorabilia. His Stillwater home is a showcase of history where every day is Memorial Day.

Eighty-year-old Retired Corporal Wayne Pettyjohn has literally turned his home into a military museum. He started the collection when he was about 8-years-old.

"It means something. The history and what it reflects. That's what it means to me," said Wayne Pettyjohn.

Just about every type of military memorabilia imaginable sits in Wayne Pettyjohn's home.

"I love history, and I've learned a lot with my collecting," said Pettyjohn. "And I really enjoy sharing it with people."

Pettyjohn says people don't expect to walk into his home only to step back in time and get a glimpse of military history.

"Well, just kind of, wow. You know. Where did you get all this stuff, and how long you been doing this," said Pettyjohn.

Pettyjohn shows us around his home.

"This is the shell casing that my great uncle gave me that caused me to start all of this," said Pettyjohn.

His great uncle was a World War one veteran.

"This one is called a tar bucket helmet. 1820's, to 1840's," said Pettyjohn. "I've picked stuff up all the way from Canada to Mexico and east coast to west."

It's a collection that's even gotten the attention of the National Marine Corps Museum.

"It says Battle of Midway, June 4, 1942," said Pettyjohn holding up an old artifact. "That was a turning point of World War II in the Pacific, and this shell was fired there at that time."

Pettyjohn says each piece has a story.

"If you get someone to explain some of these things, that have been there, or been to that place or something, then it comes alive," said Pettyjohn. "So I try to bring some of this stuff alive."

The National Marine Corp Museum in Quantico, Virginia has actually been to Pettyjohns home.

Pettyjohn says when his time here is done, he's allowing the museum take what they need to fill their collection.