The mission of 'Exhausting and Dirty Work' is to preserve, document, and exhibit items in the collection to help people develop a human connection to the stories they hold.

My grandfather returned home from Korea in 1952 and never talked to anyone about the war until I became interested over fifty years later. He shared many of his memories with me and passed on his uniforms, medals and awards. Listening to his stories helped me understand why he would try to forget the war throughout his life.

Many of these items are all that remain of seemingly common men who have done uncommon things. Though they say they just 'did their job,' I am still fascinated by their stories. While these uniforms are just the clothes they wore and the medals and awards are 'just for being there,' sometimes it is all that is left to remind us of what they really went through.

I truly enjoy researching and preserving the history and personal accounts that are attached to these artifacts. If I had never asked my grandfather his story, I don't believe anyone would have ever known. He is just one of the stories exhibited here - with time and effort, I have uncovered many other stories and am eager to share here.

Thank you and enjoy.

-- Robert C. Mackowiak


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