My Visit to the Pritzker Military Museum and Library

My Visit to the Pritzker Military Museum and Library

Photo caption: Alumni and students from left to right: Keith Gelinas ’84, Peter Kase ’18, Nicole Wenthe ’18, Prof. Travis Morris, and Dom Ruggerio ’61

By Nicole Wenthe ’18

Colby Executive Director Prof. Travis Morris, Peter Kase ’18, and I flew to Chicago as delegates of the William E. Colby Military Writers’ Symposium to visit the Pritzker Military Museum and Library (PMML). After landing, we had lunch with Dom Ruggerio ’61 and Keith Gelinas ’84 to learn about life in Chicago and hear about their NU experiences. It is always an amazing opportunity to spend time with alumni and share in each other’s Norwich experience.

Following lunch, we had a short hike to the Pritzker Military Museum and Library. As a lover of military history, visiting the museum and library was amazing, given their location on Michigan Avenue, the breadth of their collection, and the stunning beauty of the PMML itself. We toured the facility in downtown Chicago. We were able to see and handle some of the oldest books and military posters. A piece I found most interesting was a book of the Interior Guard written in 1819. As a former MP, I was fascinated learn that some of very same rules from 200 years ago are in place in our military today. We also received a behind-the-scenes look at the production area for the Museum and Library, during which we were able to speak to a couple members of the production team that records, edits, and produces the DVDs and television shows at the Pritzker.

One of the best parts of the tour was getting to walk through the museum. The current exhibit is titled, “Hunting Charlie: Finding the Enemy in the Vietnam War.” As an avid reader of military history literature, one of my favorite books is We Were Soldiers Once…and Young, co-authored by Lt. Gen. Harold G. Moore (Ret.) and war journalist Joseph L. Galloway, so it was a pleasant surprise to discover that a section of the exhibit was an audio account from retired Lieutenant General Hal Moore speaking of his experience in Vietnam. The opportunity to hear his words shows just how unique and extraordinary the Pritzker Military Museum and Library is.

To end the night, we were able to watch a live taping of the Pritzker Military Presents featuring the 2017 Colby Award Winner David Barron. During the taping, Barron gave a detailed description of his book starting at the beginning of the Revolutionary War. The relationship between George Washington and the Continental Congress was explored and brought to light with respect to the current relationship of Commander in Chief and today’s Congress. At the end of the taping we were able to speak with Barron and I got a signed copy of his book Waging War: The Clash Between Presidents and Congress, 1776 to ISIS.  This concluded our evening at the Pritzker Military Museum and Library. My only wish was wanting to stay longer at the museum and library.