Recognizing ‘Distinguished Service’


Military museum architect honored

By Mindy Kearns - Special to OVP



Retired Sergeant Major Robert “Bob” Matthews, Jr., United States Marine Corps, left, is shown as he accepts the Distinguished Service Award from the Stewart-Johnson V.F.W. Post 9926 of Mason. Making the presentation is V.F.W. Commander Ronie Wheeler.

Retired Sergeant Major Robert “Bob” Matthews, Jr., United States Marine Corps, left, is shown as he accepts the Distinguished Service Award from the Stewart-Johnson V.F.W. Post 9926 of Mason. Making the presentation is V.F.W. Commander Ronie Wheeler.


Mindy Kearns | Courtesy

Veteran Bob Matthews, Jr., left, listens as a proclamation is read by Stewart-Johnson V.F.W. Post 9926 Commander Ronie Wheeler recently.


Mindy Kearns | Courtesy

Retired United States Marine Corps Sergeant Major Robert “Bob” Matthews, Jr. and his wife Rita are pictured standing in front of one of Matthews’ uniforms that is displayed in the military museum at the West Virginia State Farm Museum.


Mindy Kearns | Courtesy

Several veterans attended a ceremony at the West Virginia State Farm Museum recently, which honored Bob Matthews, Jr., who built and established a military museum there.


Mindy Kearns | Courtesy

Retired Sergeant Major Robert “Bob” Matthews, Jr., United States Marine Corps, is pictured next to a window displaying one of his several uniforms at the military museum that he established. The museum is part of the West Virginia State Farm Museum on Fairground Road, near Point Pleasant.


Mindy Kearns | Courtesy

A portion of the maps and photos included in the military museum at the West Virginia State Farm Museum can be seen during a ceremony honoring Bob Matthews, Jr. recently. He is pictured sitting, while talking with several who attended the ceremony.


Mindy Kearns | Courtesy

Veterans attending an awards ceremony at the West Virginia State Farm Museum recently take time to walk through the military museum. One veteran is pictured making a donation for the exhibit in a box mounted on the wall. The military display is open until Nov. 15, when it will close for the winter until April.


Mindy Kearns | Courtesy

Bob Matthews, Jr., a retired United States Marine Corps veteran, established a military museum at the West Virginia State Farm Museum in 1999. He was recently presented an award by the V.F.W. for his efforts. Pictured is one wall of uniforms in the museum with the heading, “If Those Uniforms Could Talk.”


Mindy Kearns | Courtesy

At the museum

The West Virginia State Farm Museum houses its own “Military Museum.” Uniforms covering all branches of service are included in the display, as well as other artifacts, photos, patches, guns, shells, flags and other memorabilia.

POMEROY, Ohio — A Pomeroy, Ohio veteran was recently presented the Distinguished Service Award by Commander Ronie Wheeler of the Stewart-Johnson V.F.W. Post 9926 of Mason, W.Va.

Retired Sergeant Major Robert “Bob” Matthews, Jr., United States Marine Corps, was recognized for his work in establishing the military museum at the West Virginia State Farm Museum on Fairground Road near Point Pleasant.

The 92-year-old, formerly of Point Pleasant, W.Va., established the military museum in 1999. According to farm museum employees, he still comes to the museum at least three days a week and maintains the military display.

The military museum, according to Matthews, deserves a place at the farm museum because in war times throughout the years, farmers left their farms and families behind to fight for our country.

Uniforms covering all branches of service are included in the display, as well as other artifacts, photos, patches, guns, shells, flags and other memorabilia. Matthews said some of the uniforms are his own and some have been donated, while others were purchased at yard sales. He has devoted much of his personal time and money to the project.

One of the more notable veterans, whose photo is displayed on the museum wall, is Mason County native and World War II veteran Sergeant Bernard P. Bell. Sgt. Bell’s citations included the Congressional Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star with cluster, and Bronze Star. These medals are on display at the Mason County Library in Point Pleasant.

Matthews is a World War II, Korean, and Viet Nam veteran. He is the recipient of the Silver Star and Purple Heart, having been wounded in Viet Nam.

A 55-year volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America, prior to establishing the military museum, he took his scout troop to various cemeteries to find military graves. They then cleaned and restored the headstones of those veterans. The scouts also help Matthews build the military display at the farm museum.

The public can view the military museum daily except Mondays, when the farm museum is closed. The museum will close for the winter on Nov. 15.

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Retired Sergeant Major Robert “Bob” Matthews, Jr., United States Marine Corps, left, is shown as he accepts the Distinguished Service Award from the Stewart-Johnson V.F.W. Post 9926 of Mason. Making the presentation is V.F.W. Commander Ronie Wheeler.
https://www.mydailyregister.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/24/2021/10/web1_10.23-V1.jpgRetired Sergeant Major Robert “Bob” Matthews, Jr., United States Marine Corps, left, is shown as he accepts the Distinguished Service Award from the Stewart-Johnson V.F.W. Post 9926 of Mason. Making the presentation is V.F.W. Commander Ronie Wheeler. Mindy Kearns | Courtesy

Veteran Bob Matthews, Jr., left, listens as a proclamation is read by Stewart-Johnson V.F.W. Post 9926 Commander Ronie Wheeler recently.
https://www.mydailyregister.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/24/2021/10/web1_10.23-Vet-2.jpgVeteran Bob Matthews, Jr., left, listens as a proclamation is read by Stewart-Johnson V.F.W. Post 9926 Commander Ronie Wheeler recently. Mindy Kearns | Courtesy

Retired United States Marine Corps Sergeant Major Robert “Bob” Matthews, Jr. and his wife Rita are pictured standing in front of one of Matthews’ uniforms that is displayed in the military museum at the West Virginia State Farm Museum.
https://www.mydailyregister.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/24/2021/10/web1_10.23-Vet-3.jpgRetired United States Marine Corps Sergeant Major Robert “Bob” Matthews, Jr. and his wife Rita are pictured standing in front of one of Matthews’ uniforms that is displayed in the military museum at the West Virginia State Farm Museum. Mindy Kearns | Courtesy

Several veterans attended a ceremony at the West Virginia State Farm Museum recently, which honored Bob Matthews, Jr., who built and established a military museum there.
https://www.mydailyregister.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/24/2021/10/web1_10.23-Vet-4.jpgSeveral veterans attended a ceremony at the West Virginia State Farm Museum recently, which honored Bob Matthews, Jr., who built and established a military museum there. Mindy Kearns | Courtesy

Retired Sergeant Major Robert “Bob” Matthews, Jr., United States Marine Corps, is pictured next to a window displaying one of his several uniforms at the military museum that he established. The museum is part of the West Virginia State Farm Museum on Fairground Road, near Point Pleasant.
https://www.mydailyregister.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/24/2021/10/web1_10.23-Vet-5.jpgRetired Sergeant Major Robert “Bob” Matthews, Jr., United States Marine Corps, is pictured next to a window displaying one of his several uniforms at the military museum that he established. The museum is part of the West Virginia State Farm Museum on Fairground Road, near Point Pleasant. Mindy Kearns | Courtesy

A portion of the maps and photos included in the military museum at the West Virginia State Farm Museum can be seen during a ceremony honoring Bob Matthews, Jr. recently. He is pictured sitting, while talking with several who attended the ceremony.
https://www.mydailyregister.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/24/2021/10/web1_10.23-Vet-6.jpgA portion of the maps and photos included in the military museum at the West Virginia State Farm Museum can be seen during a ceremony honoring Bob Matthews, Jr. recently. He is pictured sitting, while talking with several who attended the ceremony. Mindy Kearns | Courtesy

Veterans attending an awards ceremony at the West Virginia State Farm Museum recently take time to walk through the military museum. One veteran is pictured making a donation for the exhibit in a box mounted on the wall. The military display is open until Nov. 15, when it will close for the winter until April.
https://www.mydailyregister.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/24/2021/10/web1_10.23-Vet-7.jpgVeterans attending an awards ceremony at the West Virginia State Farm Museum recently take time to walk through the military museum. One veteran is pictured making a donation for the exhibit in a box mounted on the wall. The military display is open until Nov. 15, when it will close for the winter until April. Mindy Kearns | Courtesy

Bob Matthews, Jr., a retired United States Marine Corps veteran, established a military museum at the West Virginia State Farm Museum in 1999. He was recently presented an award by the V.F.W. for his efforts. Pictured is one wall of uniforms in the museum with the heading, “If Those Uniforms Could Talk.”
https://www.mydailyregister.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/24/2021/10/web1_10.23-Vet-8.jpgBob Matthews, Jr., a retired United States Marine Corps veteran, established a military museum at the West Virginia State Farm Museum in 1999. He was recently presented an award by the V.F.W. for his efforts. Pictured is one wall of uniforms in the museum with the heading, “If Those Uniforms Could Talk.” Mindy Kearns | Courtesy
Military museum architect honored

By Mindy Kearns

Special to OVP

At the museum

The West Virginia State Farm Museum houses its own “Military Museum.” Uniforms covering all branches of service are included in the display, as well as other artifacts, photos, patches, guns, shells, flags and other memorabilia.

Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at mindykearns1@hotmail.com.

Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at mindykearns1@hotmail.com.