The exhibit, produced by the veterans who graduated the curation program Friday during a ceremony at the museum, explores their lives and work through the objects they brought back from military conflicts overseas, along with the prehistoric artifacts they have learned to preserve. Brandie Taylor, a veteran combat medic and a member of the program’s 2013 class, said she appreciated the program’s focus on new job skills.
“A lot of people don’t get to experience anything that deals with archaeology,” Taylor said. “Working here has given me an opportunity to spread the word about the VCP and help other veterans.”
The program provides employment and job training for veterans of the American military conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Veterans receive competitive pay while learning marketable job skills as they are trained to rehabilitate and preserve archaeological collections administered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Augusta is home to one of three Veterans Curation Program laboratories; the others are in Alexandria, Va., and St. Louis.
Graduate Brandon Holloman said he enjoyed expanding his knowledge of history.
“You never know why things are the way they are in the present until you learn about their past,” he said.
The Augusta Museum of History, the only museum in the area accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, was established in 1937 to preserve and share the material history of Augusta and the region.