Jackson honored for museum work

Published 7:00 pm Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Military Memorial Museum presentedBrookhaven’s Paul Jackson with a certificate Tuesday in recognitionof his service to the United States, his work for the city and hiscontributions to the museum.

    Included with the certificate of validation was a flag that flewover the Joint Sustainment Command Center in Kandahar, Afghanistan,on Nov. 22, 2010 during Operation Enduring Freedom.

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    Friends and fellow veterans attended the ceremony for Jackson, andsaid the recognition was well deserved.

    Jackson served as Chairman of the museum until six months ago whenhis health forced him to retire from his position.

    Chad Smith, the organizer of Tuesday’s ceremony, said Jackson’scontributions to the museum helped make it what it istoday. 

    “He was one of the key members who helped found the museum anddonated memorabilia,” said Smith.  “Paul Jackson has done so much forthe museum and the area.”

    Jackson said it felt great to be honored by a special group.

    “I didn’t know they were going to do this, but I appreciate it andit’s an honor,” said Jackson.  “I’m proud.  I don’t have too many words todescribe it, but I thank them.” 

    Jackson, now 86, served in the U.S. Army in the European Theater ofWorld War II in a tank destroyer unit and fought in many of thewar’s key battles, including the Battle of the Ardennes, battle ofNormandy and the fight for northern France.

    After the war, Jackson returned home to Brookhaven and started hisconstruction business, now known as Jackson and Son,Inc. 

    The company has been responsible for a number of buildings in thearea, including First Baptist of Brookhaven, Brookhaven Academy andis currently working on the new Region 8 Mental Health building onHighway 51. Jackson’s son is now running the business and,according to Jackson, is staying very busy. 

    “We’ve built so many buildings and been in on so many projects thatI’ve lost track of them,” said Jackson with a smile. 

    Over the years, Jackson has been an active member of the Veteransof Foreign Wars (VFW) and the American Legion. 

    The Military Memorial Museum opened in 2004 in the old trainstation on South Whitworth Avenue and attracts around 1,500visitors a year, according to Smith. 

    Smith said planned additions to the museum in the near futureinclude new displays and a new plane replica as well as a replicaof the USS Princeton.