Art museum gives veterans a place to tell their own stories

CHICAGO — When Mel Lyons returned from his tour in Iraq in 2003, he quickly found a home at the National Veterans Art Museum.

The Museum is a special place, with each room featuring works of art by military veterans or stories of war.

There's “The Things They Carried,” featuring a collection of Vietnam War memorabilia. A Native American-inspired “Original Warrior” exhibit explains tribal names for tanks and helicopters, alongside photographs and artwork depicting fallen heroes. And there's even a gallery of veteran and author Kurt Vonnegut’s work, including a lithograph commemorating the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day (now known as Veterans Day).

The National Veterans Art Museum is open Tuesday through Thursday, and free to the public.