Shadowbox Design? - Uniform?

Looking for some design ideas for a military shadowbox - for my son...
My father recently gave my son several items from his military service spanning various posts and tours: West Point (58), Iran, Korea, Vietnam (65).
I'd like to include items from each of these spots. However, I've also got the set of fatigues that my father was wearing when he earned one of his purple hearts, and a semi-shredded shoulder holster from another incident. I'd like to display these somehow in this box - but am worried if that tips the design over into unwieldy or perhaps poorly proportioned for a wall mount.
I just finished a desk for my daughter, and haven't spent much time thinking about the box (just hit me this morning). In typing this, I'm wondering if display such as this torn (and "unwashed") uniform could be considered in poor taste... It's by no means gruesome; but there is a bullet hole and stains. Actually, I might have to chew on that...
Feedback - including appropriateness of the display - is welcome.
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Mon, Oct 29, 2007, 6:40pm (EDT+4) snipped-for-privacy@CATyahoo.COWcom (jbd in Denver) doth want to know: <snip> Feedback - including appropriateness of the display - is welcome. Ask the kid what HE wants. He might just want them kept in a nice box, with a lid. But you'll never know unless you ask.
JOAT It's not hard, if you get your mind right. - Granny Weatherwax
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You might want to ask your father, he may not want to see that on a regular basis.
--
Mike
Watch for the bounce.
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"asmurff" wrote in message

An excellent, and required, suggestion!
My daughters and wife decided to surprise me with a medal/insignia display some years ago (I was perfectly happy with the cardboard box they were in at the bottom of a closet).
Neither they, nor the person who put the display together, had any idea whatsoever of the significance, importance, rank, tradition, etc of any of the items, which is a VERY important consideration in displaying any military insignia/medals.
It took a good deal of tact to get it changed to make it presentable, and not downright wrong and inappropriate, particularly for anyone with any military experience who happened to see it.
It's always better to ask, particularly in this regard.
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Tue, Oct 30, 2007, 9:25am (EDT-2) snipped-for-privacy@nospam.com (Swingman) doth sayeth: An excellent, and required, suggestion! My daughters and wife decided to surprise me with a medal/insignia display <snip> It's always better to ask, particularly in this regard.
Yeah, I'd be miffed if that happened to me too. However, you didn't give your stuff away; this guy's father did. So, I'd say the old man also gave away any say on how they should be displayed, or kept, at the same time. My vote is, the kid has the final say; but if he wnts a shadow box, he should keep it in his room, just like he'd do with a box. I still favor a box..
I've got mine in a drawer in the bedroom. I open the drawer and take a look every few years, then close the drawer. Works for me.
JOAT It's not hard, if you get your mind right. - Granny Weatherwax
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KarlC... I am in a similar predicament. My husband REALLY wants a shadow box of his medals and pins. I told him that I don't know what any of it means or how to display it. He claims that it is something a military person should receive as a gift...but hello...I DON'T KNOW HOW TO DISPLAY IT ALL CORRECTLY!!! Do you know if there are people/places that will do this sort of thing? The last thing I want to do is have it all flubbed up. For some reason, he is adamant that it be a "surprise" gift.
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My initial reaction is that, in that case, he will have to put up with what he gets. :)
Rest assured that, in the end, it is the sentiment that counts.
That said, I don't know anyone who you could rely upon to do the job, but why don't you consider perhaps itemizing what you have to work with and see of some of us here can give you a hand with regard to a display layout.
There are many veterans here and I'm certain that you could get a collective consensus of sorts if we know what you're dealing with.
If you prefer to do it privately, my e-mail address is not that hard to figure out. If someone else wants to jump in here...
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google Army uniform regulations... Navy... USAF... USMC...
I saw the Army and Navy regs, complete with drawings, order of presidence of medals...
Good luck
Jack
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Also google Military shadow box and your city... helps if you have any military base near you. Call your local military recruiter office, they will probably also know a source. Jack
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Made several of these while in the AF. Each was a collective, group effort of people that worked with the individual being honored. The best looking ones were the ones that were a true montage display of medals, insignia, patches or other memorabilia that was scrounged or stolen from the honoree. Do not include a folded flag - that gets its own display box - when the time comes.
One of the things we did was to raise items off the back panel at varying heights to provide a 3D effect. For instance, for one officer we displayed his Lt bars attached to the felt lined back. The Capt bars were displayed on a block (flat black paint) raised about 1/2"from the back. The Major and Lt Col insignia were also arranged about 1" higher than the Lt bars and finally his Colonel (Eagles) was displayed on a larger block that had blue felt glued to its surface so the insignia was displayed prominently. Patches were partially displayed with one overlaying the other but done so that the significance of the patch was visible. Ribbons are displayed as though they are being worn and displayed in the case as they would be viewed if they were on his/her uniform. Medals are displayed in the same manner and given prominence in the case unless there is some special item (Congressional / Command letter, etc.) that highlights their career or tour of duty.
For seeing how medals, ribbons and patches are worn and displayed on the uniform, check the services web site. There's usually some link that will get you the info you're looking for. As for including any part of the uniform in the display, we did include an "overseas" cap in one which had the retiring rank insignia attached. But other than that and some patches - we never did include any clothing item.
As for displaying it all correctly. Just be sure the ribbons and medals are in their proper order as I noted above. Everything else - do what looks good and balances it out and don't worry about making it look as though its a gov't issued item that came with a 600 page manual. This is a personal memento given and made by those that know the individual - arranged to their liking. Have some special pictures that should be included? How about their lucky coin / rabbit's foot or lighter, special belt buckle they wore, flying glasses (if they were air crew members) any item that will provoke a memory or beg a question so they can "tell their story".
That's what those display cases are for and should be made so that they can be displayed by either being mounted on a wall or displayed on an easel.
The DD214 form - stays in the safe deposit box.....
Bob S.
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"BobS" wrote

Mine was recorded at the county court house ... but that's probably a breach of "identity theft" security these days.
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