By M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – A senator, a West Point graduate and about two dozen veterans gathered to see the newest additions to the Tupelo Veterans Museum on Thursday.
A ship’s telegraph, wheel and compass are on display at the Ballard Park site after a two-year effort. Navy veteran Chuck Young spent part of his career working on the “mothball fleet,” which were decommissioned ships.
“I knew they had things like this in warehouses,” Young said.
He and Tony Lute, museum curator, worked various channels to get the items, but kept running into obstacles. Lute said the job became much easier after Sen. Roger Wicker and his staff got involved.
“I don’t know what he said to them,” Lute said, “but the next day we had pictures of this stuff on a palette and shrink-wrapped and ready to be shipped.”
Wicker said he appreciated Lute’s vision for the museum, and his dedication to seeing it grow.
“My hat is off to local leadership for wanting to do this,” he said.
Wicker also met with 2nd Lt. Justin Crose, a 23-year-old from Ripley who graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in May. Wicker nominated Crose for the academy. Crose is scheduled to go to Fort Benning, Ga., on Saturday for officer’s training.
“This young man was selected to go to West Point because he was among the best to apply,” Wicker said, “not because he knew a public official.”