Fred and Dinah Gretsch recently attended a jazz brunch at the Fort Stewart Museum as the guests of Brigadier General Jeffrey E. Phillips, 3rd Infantry Division Deputy Commanding General-Rear. Hosted by General Phillips and 3rd ID Command Sergeant Major-Rear, Command Sergeant Major Jeffrey Ashmen, the event featured music by the 3rd ID Jazz Combo and a presentation and tour by the museum curator Walter “Buck” Meeks III.
The museum includes several thousand artifacts in its archives and the current exhibit includes a walk-through timeline of world events, explaining the 3rd ID’s role beginning in 1917, as well as telling its story through the voices and words of Soldiers who have made up the Division. The museum is one of the first places Soldiers arriving at Fort Stewart are required to visit.
Sitting in with the band was a special guest, retired Sergeant First Class Walt Peters, a Vietnam veteran and volunteer of the Savannah Chapter of the American Red Cross. Well known to all the Soldiers at Fort Stewart, Peters has made it his personal mission to greet every single departing and returning Soldier as they pass through Savannah’s Hunter Army Airfield base. An accomplished guitarist, Peters spent many years as a professional guitarist in Nashville.
“It was an honor to be invited to such a splendid event”, said Fred Gretsch. “The museum is a fitting tribute to the legacy of the 3rd Infantry Division and we are truly privileged to have such an important institution right here on our doorstep in Savannah. The 3rd ID Jazz Combo was terrific, absolutely first class. They kept everyone entertained with really great music throughout.”
The Fort Stewart Museum is free and open to the public but requires civilian visitors to obtain a pass to enter the installation. The museum is located in Building T904, 2022 Frank Cochran Drive, Fort Stewart. For more information, call 912-767-7885. Hours: 10 am-4 pm, Tuesdays-Saturdays (closed Sundays, Mondays, and federal holidays).