A Word About the WAR ROOM
The War Room was a random idea that came to me as I was updating the lighting in our new basement with interrogation style pendent lights, ones you would see in a tucked away low-profile room that you rarely get out of. After that, I just realized I have so many military items I have accumulated during my career in the Marine Corps but also the relics that my family left behind. Several uncles of mine serving in Vietnam, my Dad in the Air Force and Grandpa in the Navy and older Brother in the Army.
As I would visit my Mom’s house I would find some of my older uniforms, old photos and legendary relics that told stories, that’s where the idea of the War Room came to light. To display and remember all that my family went through in the military, pay tribute, and then lastly (once we get some furniture in there) a place salty vets can hang out and tell lofty stories of war and glory.
I thought it only fitting to create a sign to once and for all memorialize the War Room. The sign was made from a piece of wood purchased from Home Depot and then severely (purposely) damaged with nails, kabar slashes, rust paint, hammer strikes, etc. a final coat of rust paint was added and then the words WAR ROOM spray painted in Marine Corps Olive Drab along with a few 7.62 rounds glued. The chain was the final touch, an old chandelier chain found in the basement was spray painted rust and attached to the sign.
A uniform hanger was the next edition, in keeping with the war torn style decor of the room I decided to use old pieces of pipes to construct a hanger for uniforms. The hanger was fastened between two studs.
The Wall of Heroes
The photos created by my Dad displaying photos of all family members in the military. Some of the photos I don’t even remember who they are or if I even met them, but nevertheless its a great tribute to the Wojtecki family in the military. I know maybe one day I can hear more stories of their time in foreign lands and their adventures.
An old ash tray that my grandpa constructed from an old bomb is now in The War Room. I was honored to smoke a cigar and ash in it, in the company of some fine Combat Veterans, TIm Gurgol (USMC Ret. Wpns Co. 3/25) and Aaron Zehr (Lima Co. 3/25). I believe those were Comochos, not a bad cigar, even better stories and company. Cpl. Gurgol arrived late and we had him thinking we bought him cigarillos, when Zehr handed him the Comocho the smoking lamp was officially lit.
Rest assured that continuous inspections are being called in The War Room, particularly uniform inspections. I have no idea how I accumulated all these uniforms, I think the Marine Corps kept giving them to me so I just kept accepting them. You never know when you could use a pair of salty lance corporal woodlands to sit around and bitch up a storm in. And, if I ever get hungry down there, I still have a Chicken Cavatelli MRE from 10 years ago I can eat, of course throw away the Charms and don’t eat the peanut butter, it’ll back you up for months!
When taking inventory of my boots I have one pair of those big winter black boots, a pair of black Vietnam jungle boots with the green canvas on the sides, 1 pair of summer Vietnam style boots, then the new boots came out, desert style, made by Gortex so they were decent. I still think new Marine Corps recruits would have nothing to do at boot camp, that’s all I remember doing is ironing uniforms and polishing boots. Guess you’ll have to get out to the drill field nasty!
The Future of The WAR ROOM
You are probably asking yourself, what’s in store for The War Room going forward? What are future plans for this glorious basement man-cave that eternally commemorates true heroes? Well I’m glad you asked. I have already begun kind of filling in the missing pieces that I didn’t’ quite have, my Uncle had an old Vietnam Helmet liner so recently I got the helmet to add to that from a local antique shop, The Bomb Shelter in Akron, OH. I was thinking of tracking down a very old pack of lucky strikes or Marlboros from the 70’s to really get the effect of the helmet from that era.
Of course, I am planning on some more shelving, the only thing I have in there now is a small two shelf unit which is just not going to cut it. I’d like to have some sharp looking eliminated glass shelving units and also a coin holder, since I have unit coins lying around everywhere. And for the Coup De Grace, I would purchase or try to construct a table made solely out of military parts, preferably plane parts. For chairs, either ones ripped out of a B-52 or something equivalent. I’ve checked prices at places like Restoration Hardware, they are insane. One of our ideas was to look around aviation scrap yards to find what we need, and e-bay has some decent stuff now and then, things others just want to get out of their basements and I want to add to The WAR ROOM.