Vietnam Army Grunts Museum
Through his own personal involvement with America’s Veterans Foundation, San Antonio resident Mr. Michael Lynd Sr., who served as an Infantry Officer in Vietnam during 1968 and 1969 and participated in Operation Fayette Canyon in Quang Nam Province as part of the 196th Light Infantry Brigade, Americal Division had his own vision. Inspired also by the efforts of his friends at Southwest Florida Military Museum & Library (SFMML) located in Cape Coral, Florida, Mr. Lynd recognized the importance of acknowledging and honoring those brave Army soldiers, the Grunts, who fought on the front line of the Vietnam War. At that moment, Mr. Lynd committed to creating the Vietnam Army Grunt Museum-the Army Grunts Story.
We are honored and thankful for the friends who support us and ask that you also help us by visiting and financially supporting the museum, as well as encouraging the soldiers of the Vietnam War and their families to contribute cherished items and testimonials from their experiences during their time of combat, where they might be housed and displayed permanently to benefit the thousands of future visitors as well as perpetually honor those brave Army soldiers. The museum charges no admission and is staffed almost entirely by volunteers. We would not be able to operate if not for generous individual donors, sponsorships and endowments that will ensure our vitality for future generations.
Who is a Vietnam Grunt?
“For the soldiers who served in the Vietnam War, the word grunt was not just a nickname but also a commentary on their status in the hierarchy of war. To be a grunt was to be in the infantry. It meant leaping out of helicopters into landing zones that were sometimes under enemy fire. It meant marching through elephant grass taller than a man and as sharp as a knife or slogging across streams and rivers so deep and muddy that men sometimes disappeared beneath the surface or found themselves mired in mud so thick it sucked the boots off their feet. It meant suffering from heat, humidity, rain and insects while straining under the burden of equipment, which could weigh as much as eighty pounds. It meant enduring endless marches up and down mountains, through jungles and into villages, looking for an enemy who was hard to find and sometimes even harder to fight. All the while being on the lookout for booby traps and ambushes. Finally, it meant tolerating hours and sometimes days of boredom and frustration, punctuated by moments of terror when contact was made with the enemy. Being a grunt may have been the least enviable and most underrated task of the Vietnam War.” – www.encyclopedia.com
The Vietnam Army Grunt Museum is located inside the Lynd Company’s new headquarters in San Antonio, where the Museum honors United States Army Grunt soldiers who fought on the ground in Vietnam, giving visitors some sense of what soldiers, in combat, experienced and the challenging environment of Vietnam. It is the museum’s goal to use cultural and historical documents, interactive displays and selected artifacts to expose the visitor to the realities and perspectives of that long war.
SAN ANTONIO, TX—LYND, a homegrown commercial real estate company, brought the AVTT traveling version of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. to greater San Antonio during a four-day period in October 2019. The visit coincided with the dedication of the Vietnam Army Grunt Museum that was built inside LYND’s new headquarters in Shavano Park. The 50th reunion of a U.S. Army unit the company’s founder and chairman emeritus Michael Lynd Sr. was part of what took place the same weekend.
“My father’s service in Vietnam meant a great deal to him and it helped shape the fiber of our company,” said A. David Lynd, president and CEO. “With that in mind, we thought it would be fitting to showcase this important historical period in our country while celebrating a momentous milestone in our own company’s history—a new 35,000-square-foot corporate home built from the ground up.”
At 360-feet long and 8-feet high, the AVTT Traveling Wall is the largest mobile Vietnam replica in the country. It was set up in the parking lot of the new headquarters site at 4499 Pond Hill Road, Shavano Park, Texas and was open to the public 24 hours a day from Thursday, October 10, 2019, to Sunday, October 13, 2019.
On Friday, October 11, 2019, LYND hosted an invite-only event to dedicate the new office building and ground-floor museum. The project was the brainchild of Lynd Sr., who was a member of the U.S. Army’s 196th Light Infantry Brigade (Americal Division) during the war. It officially served as an annex of the Southwest Florida Military Museum & Library in Cape Coral, Florida.
“Our museum will be dedicated to all of the grunts who put their lives on the line fighting in the rice paddies, jungles, mountains, and beaches,” said Lynd Sr., whose company turns 40 years old in 2020. “The stories will be told from their point of view so that the public can better understand the challenges these brave soldiers faced and why our country was at war.”
The museum will feature documentaries, books, letters, news articles and other artifacts from the era. It will also feature kiosks with audio/visual recordings and a mannequin fully dressed in authentic combat gear. The museum is open to the public. There are more than a half-million Vietnam veterans estimated to live in Texas according to the Military Officers of America.
Special guests for the weekend included two retired Army officers with distinguished military careers. Major General James L. Dozier and Lieutenant General Walter F. Ulmer, Jr. were both awarded Silver Star Medals for valor in combat in Vietnam. Years later, General Dozier made news when he was kidnapped from his residence in Verona by the Red Brigades while serving at a NATO headquarters there. He was rescued 42 days later by an Italian special police unit. General Ulmer later served as a Division and Corps commander and as Commandant of Cadets at West Point.
Occurring during the opening, the C-2-1 unit of the 196th Light Infantry Brigade (Americal Division) held its 50th reunion in San Antonio. A special dinner occured on the rooftop of the LYND headquarters that was attended by both generals and also Chris Noel, a former actress and Vietnam veteran pin-up model who made numerous visits to troops and hosted her own radio program. She survived two helicopter crashes in the war.
Headquartered in San Antonio, TX, Lynd is a privately-held, national real estate company that specializes in third-party management of multifamily real estate assets. Managing approximately 13,000 apartment units in 10 states, Lynd ranks as one of the premiere multifamily management companies in the country. For more information, visit www.lynd.com.