Seventeen members of Sacred Heart Catholic Parish’s Ladies Guild attended a customized program and took a tour of the Veterans History Museum of the Carolinas on Nov. 7. November is “Women in the Military” month at the museum. The guild members met in a room where the special exhibit of women’s uniforms, pictures, mementos, medals, artifacts, books, and magazines are displayed in this special exhibit.

Curator Emmett Casciato acknowledged the guild members’ roles as wives or parents of service members. One guild member veteran in attendance was also honored: Jana Gruber, who is a U.S. Army Veteran who served in Saudi Arabia. Gruber also serves as a volunteer Pathfinder (docent) at the museum, along with her husband, Mike Gruber.

Casciato shared stories of his daughter, Abby Casciato Moore, who is a West Point Graduate and served in Afghanistan. On one occasion Casciato and his wife, Toni (a member of the Ladies Guild in attendance) received a 2:00 am phone call which reported, “Your service member is O.K.” and abruptly ended the call. Not knowing if this meant she’d been injured but is “just O.K.”, the Casciato parents were naturally very worried until they could finally reach Abby several hours later. Abby had been asleep and was a bit annoyed to be awakened, Casciato laughed. This story reminded guild members of the concern and sacrifice families make when their loved ones are deployed and in harm’s way.

Museum tour guides Phil Davis and Casciato took the guild members through galleries displaying uniforms, artifacts, mementos, medals, and original newspapers from WWI to the present War on Terror, sharing many stories of the service members who have donated their uniforms and personal items to the museum.

The Veterans History Museum is located at 21 East Main Street in Brevard and is open Wednesday – Saturday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm and Sunday from 1:00 to 4:00 pm. Admission is free. To arrange a tour for your group, please call 828-884-2141 during these open hours.

The museum’s last open day in 2019 is Sunday, Dec. 8. After winter inventory, the museum will re-open on February 5, 2020.