G.I. Joe rescues Houma military museum

Houma, La. - Stuffed into a small building on Barrow Street, the Regional Military Museum takes visitors on a journey through time. The massive collection of military artifacts dates back to World War I.

Museum president and Korean War veteran C.J. Christ and his friends came up with the idea in 2003, a place to show off our nation's military might. What started as a small display of guns and grenades quickly grew.

"Every time we would need something, we would ask around and find out, well he's got one or he's got one or he's got a truck he's not using," says Christ.  "We feel like the participation of the community is really what makes this work and people are participating at levels we never anticipated before."

Terrebonne taxpayers approved a millage that now funds the museum but it survived, barely, on donations in the beginning. Then Hollywood called in 2010.

Producers of G.I. Joe 2 needed military equipment for their movie being shot in New Orleans.

"They came over here with two 18-wheelers and we loaded them up," says Christ.  "And they went to Michoud and filmed G.I. Joe and when they finished, they not only brought our stuff back, they brought us all kinds of other stuff plus a very handsome check, so we're glad to have done business with them."

The movie comes out June 29 and museum volunteers are excited to see their collection on the big screen.

With the new funds, the Regional Military Museum has plans to expand. Board member Russell Poiencot explains, it's important for future generations to learn about the past. He served in the Army Air Corps just after World War II.

"We just don't want the younger ones to forget," says Poiencot. "We want the children today to remember why we're here."

With the help of the community and a big summer movie, the Regional Military Museum will be here for a long time to come.