Military museum celebrates veterans year-round in Huntsville

HUNTSVILLE, Texas (KTRK) -- For Walker County resident Charlotte Oleinik, Memorial Day isn't one day a year.

"I live it every day," she told Eyewitness News. "Sometimes I'm in a foxhole. Sometimes I'm in a rice paddy. Sometimes I'm in the sky."

Oleinik is the founder and curator of the HEARTS Military Museum of Texas, a place that tells the story of local men and women who served. Sharing their sacrifice is her passion.

"This is one night we can all say thank you," she said. "And thank the families."

Walking the halls on Memorial Day and seeing the stories in Oleinik's museum brought the real hereos to life -- veterans of all five branches of service. They included Command Sergeant Major Matthew Brady. He is a Bronze Star Awardee who said Americans can never do enough to thank the men and women who give their lives for our freedom.

"How much is enough for someone that when you drive to work today, you're not concerned about an IED," he said. "I mean, can we do enough?"

Brady served as the keynote speaker because of his brother Congressman Kevin Brady of Texas' 8th congressional district.

"Especially in a community like this, in a museum dedicated to real life heroes, (having my brother and younger sister, Carol, here) is just a once in a lifetime moment for me," he said.

Brady is a long-time supporter of the museum and its efforts.

Both men said they are in awe of Oleinik's efforts and they challenged the crowd at the service Monday night to be a bit more like her and remember our fallen veterans every day.

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