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High School Teen Preserves Military Stories

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Palm Springs, CA -

A 17-year-old high school student is on mission to honor and share the stories of some of the nation's most decorated veterans in a new exhibit at the Palm Springs Air Museum.

Will Twomey is not your average high school student. His passion to preserve the stories of our nations heroes is consistent with what you might see from the highly decorated veterans he's honoring.

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"It puts a personal face on sometimes wars that are defined by dates and battles and things like that," said Twomey of his collection.

Both of Twomey's collections are on display at the Palm Springs Air Museum. Uniforms: America's Finest and The Purple Heart: The Ultimate Sacrifice. He started collecting these military treasures when he was only 12 years old.

"I started looking far and wide for as many uniforms medals, everything I could find from veterans, their families and it never ceases to amaze me  what's out there, what's in these thrift stores and just laying around and the stories that go behind them," Twomey said.

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From the Purple Heart of Seaman Second Class Gordon Stafford who died from wounds he suffered during the attack on Pearl Harbor, to a uniform belonging to former Secretary of State and U.S. Army General Colin Powell. A uniform that got the attention of the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture.

"They flew out from Washington D.C. to look at it, look through the paperwork I have, took a bunch of photos. And this is actually the last exhibit with the uniform before it goes on a six year loan to them," said Twomey.

Although some of the items Twomey has collected are now worth quite a bit of money, he has no intention of putting them up for sale.

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"Everything here whether it's been donated, whether I purchase it, some of them I've even found, I plan to take care of them for as long as I physically can. And if the time ever comes where I can't, to find someone else that will," Twomey said.

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