New art exhibits features stories from Wisconsin veterans

New art exhibits features stories from Wisconsin veterans. (WLUK/Chris Bourassa)

A new art exhibit at The Trout Museum of Art, in Appleton features stories from Wisconsin veterans.

"Every one of these people here and everyone that served has a story, and they deserve to be told," said Vietnam veteran, Lowell Peterson.

Photographs of Wisconsin veterans hang on the walls inside The Trout Museum, as part of a new exhibit called Wisconsin War Stories.

"I think it creates a nostalgia, memories, some of which are unpleasant," said Peterson.

Peterson recalls his time as a flight surgeon during The Vietnam War.

"No one took any pot-shots at me, but my pilots were in consistent danger every day of being shot down," Peterson said.

He explained when thinking about his service, there is one day he will never forget.

July 27,1965, the day his unit found where the enemy kept its surface-to-air-missiles.

"We went after those SAM sites on that particular day, and we sent 48 airplanes out that day in my squadron alone six were shot down, three were killed, two became Prisoners Of War, and one was recovered, so that's a day I'll never forget," Peterson said.

"A lot of times when they (veterans) returned home from the wars that they served in, they were really asked to keep it to themselves, not to share the story, and as part of our community we thought it was important to share that story," said Pamela Williams-Lime, the executive director of The Trout Museum of Art.

Williams- Lime says since the museum opened the exhibit last week, interest has been strong.

"I'm very proud of my military service," said Michael Weaver, a Vietnam veteran.

Weaver says looking at the exhibit is emotional. He says it's a reminder of the sacrifices people made for our country.

"It's important to remember our veterans, It's very important for them to reflect on what that military service means in protecting the freedoms in our country," said Weaver.

The museum is also featuring a companion exhibit to the photographs. This one displays the artwork of veterans expressing their view of war.

"In our Regional Artist Gallery, we decided to open it up to showcase works that were created by veterans as a means for them to articulate and express what they experienced," said William-Lime.

The exhibits will be on display through July 3rd.

For more information on the exhibits click here.

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