G.I. Joe on display starting Friday at Home With Heroes

Published 1:09 am Thursday, October 11, 2018

NATCHEZ — Local veteran Robert Foley is showcasing his collection of approximately 30 G.I. Joes in a new memorabilia room operated by Home with Heroes Foundation in the VFW building, 370 Seargent S. Prentiss Drive.

Home With Heroes Foundation Inc. founder and president Mark LaFrancis describes the memorabilia room as a mini museum in one room of the facility that Home With Heroes moved into earlier this year when the organization created a clothing bank for veterans.

The memorabilia room will open at 10 a.m. Friday, LaFrancis said.

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Foley said he hopes the G.I. Joe display will help give visitors a better understanding of the challenges service men and women face with each generation.

G.I. Joes are the original action figure launched by Hasbro Inc., a toy company, in 1962 and have versions over the years representing all branches of the nation’s armed services.

“They have a character and a feel about them as you walk down, you put them together, and you’re thinking about … what they went through,” Foley said of the display.

Foley said he has been collecting G.I. Joes since he was a child.

“The first thing that comes to my mind,” Foley said of looking at the assembled figures, “is the amount of effort that these guys put in doing what they do. Going into really awful places in really austere circumstances and basically being in the frontline of defense for this country. Having done that sort of thing myself, I have a real appreciation for those guys who are out there doing it today.”

Foley said he has been working on developing the museum with Home With Heroes for almost a year now, and he is happy it is finally coming to fruition.

“I’m very pleased we were able to do this because they were just sitting at home in my book case now there is an opportunity to show people,” Foley said.

The memorabilia room also will feature a military Lego display and an area for people to try on different military gear.