MOUNT POCONO, Pa. —
Stories of women who served our county and military memorabilia worn and used by them line the walls and showcases inside the Women Veterans Museum in Mount Pocono.
Retired U.S. Army Sergeant Major Claudette Williams is the creator of the museum.
"We give them the sense of not just telling them our story or sharing it with them, we actually allow them to feel, put the uniforms on, what it felt like to wear the steel pot on top of their head, what it feels like to put the vest on," Williams said.
She served for 30 years, completing several tours in the Middle East.
Williams says after she retired, she constantly was mistaken for the wife of a soldier. Believing that women veterans deserve more credit, she opened the museum.
"It was like no longer, 'Will we be invisible?' And I came back with the idea, 'I'm starting a museum that highlights and celebrates women who have served and who have worn the combat boots,'" Williams said.
The museum features female veterans from across the county, including many from northeastern Pennsylvania, like Winifred Daly from Chestnuthill Township.
"We have a uniform and pictures of the first F-35 reserve pilot who went to Pocono Mountain East. She now is a one-star general; she made her brigadier general. We have uniforms from 1944 of a family member who was visiting the first class of the WAVE on President Roosevelt," said Williams.
She also helps veterans with resources they or their families may need.
"When a solider serves, their family serves too, and so we want to make sure that we're not just taking care of the solider but holistically the family," Williams said.
The Women Veterans Museum in Mount Pocono is open from Thursday to Sunday.
Admission is free, but donations are accepted to help keep the place running.