David Reeder

Grove Sun

OAKS-An additional classroom was added to the Oaks High School campus as the General Tommy Franks Mobile Museum rolled into town on Monday. 

Students were treated to an exhibit of cultural, social and geographical items gathered from 24 Middle Eastern and African countries.  Among some of the displayed collection were cultural dress, one-of-a-kind handmade items, children’s toys and ceremonial pieces.  Concluding the showcase is a ballot from the first-ever free democratic election in Afghanistan.

The traveling Road Show is one of the two major phase II projects of the General Tommy Franks Leadership Institute based out of Hobart. 

According to spokesperson, Carolyn Jameson, “We visited 77 schools, covering about 20,000 miles and saw about 17,000 schoolchildren in the process.  We really want to encourage students to think globally and to realize that there’s much more to the world than just their immediate surroundings.”

Born in 1945, in Wynnewood, OK., General Franks was the Commander In Chief of the United States Central Command and the U.S. commander of the coalition military operations in the war against Iraq.  The four-star general oversaw the day-to-day maneuvers of U.S forces in 25 nations, including Afghanistan and the Persian Gulf. 

In 1967, Franks graduated from Artillery Officer Candidate School, in Fort Sill, Oklahoma, as a second lieutenant and got his first combat experience as an artillery officer in Vietnam.  Before retiring from the Army in 2003, he served in the Pentagon as well as in the Persian Gulf during the Gulf War and was awarded 3 Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star along the way.

Jameson added that starting in December, the Road Show will be traveling through Texas for the first time.