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Artifact collector takes vets back to Vietnam
C.G. Garcia holds up a 45-year-old can of peanut butter, which was part of the C-rations issued to troops in Vietnam, during a recent meeting of the Cumming Chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of America. A mannequin with an American combat uniform also is shown. - photo by For the Forsyth County News

Members of the Cumming Chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of America were transported back in time, thanks to a recent presentation by a collector of Vietnam War artifacts and memorabilia.

Speaking at the chapter’s Aug. 5 meeting, C.G. Garcia brought part of his collection of uniforms, photos and captured North Vietnamese and Viet Cong relics, including communist propaganda leaflets.

Garcia actually started out collecting World War II artifacts, but grew interested in collectibles from Vietnam through a co-worker who served as a combat Marine.

Since the early 1990s, he has gathered enough mementoes to turn part of his home into a mini-museum dedicated to the veterans of the war in Southeast Asia.

Garcia sparked the memory of many when he held up a 1968 C-ration can of peanut butter. He and nearly everyone in the room laughed at the possibility that the contents would probably still taste pretty good.

The local VVA chapter meets the first Monday of each month at the Golden Corral on Market Place Boulevard. Dinner is at 6 p.m. and the meeting begins at 7 p.m. Due to the Labor Day holiday, next month’s meeting will be held on Sept. 9.