Retired Lance Corporal in the Marines Craig Carroll served on the front lines in the Vietnam War. "You're scared to death, you're dealing with an unknown and once the shooting starts and all the chaos begins, all of a sudden I don't hear anything. There's no sound, everything is slow motion," recalls Carroll of being in battle.
50 years later and the pain hasn't left his mind, so he turns to his hobby to help. Being in a military family he's always been a collector. Four years ago he retired and opened Gettysburg Militaria & Antiques. "That's what this store is all about, the souvenirs that have been brought back home from these veterans," said Carroll, whose store is stocked with artifacts from the early wars to Vietnam, and everything in between. The store with everything inside gives him an outlet to heal. "I love collecting this and seeing this stuff come in the store and then trying to find a home for it. It's the passion when you see these artifacts come in," he said.
His passion is teaching younger generations about American history. Carroll remembers all of the men he fought beside who didn't make it back. "It's the faces. They were young, a lot of them never had a girlfriend yet, and of course as a young man you're talking about, 'I want to get married, I want to have kids, I want to have a car someday," and they never even got that chance," said Carroll as he fought back tears. He hopes history doesn't repeat itself so he's helping to ensure that, one artifact at a time. "I was able to do everything I ever wanted. I had a dream come true in my life, and I'm not finished yet."