Located in southern Belgium in the French-speaking Walloon Region, Bastogne is a small town with a proud past marked by the Battle of the Bulge. It is often said that Bastogne is the most “American” city outside of North America and the town’s numerous tributes and monuments to the efforts of the brave Americans attest to just that.
An old Sherman tank is prominently placed downtown, on another corner a stone monument to Gen. George S. Patton. At the town square, a monument stands honoring U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Anthony C. McAuliffe who, when confronted with a German demand for the surrender of the 101st Airborne Division defending Bastogne, succinctly retorted “Nuts.” The newly renovated Bastogne War Museum is located just outside of downtown and houses extensive, interactive exhibits following the story of WWII through the prism of the Battle of the Bulge.
If you would like to visit Bastogne, there are many useful online resources to aid you in your trip planning, and provide you with recommendations for lodging, attractions and restaurants in the area.
Visiting Bryan/College Station
Bryan/College Station prides itself on being a community grounded in traditions but eager to embrace the future.
The cities of Bryan and College Station (“BCS”) are located in Central Texas at the heart of the Texas Triangle made up of Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston and Austin. BCS brings together history and high tech. The charming historic Bryan downtown is home to a massive world-class data protection center. The George Bush Presidential Library and Museum is just around the corner from the Research Valley Biocorridor, home to the largest federal center for vaccine manufacturing. The community is also home to expansive facilities where thousands from around the world come to train in firefighting, emergency medical response and homeland security.
The 140 year old Texas A&M campus with its rich history and traditions is one of the world’s leading research institutions with expertise in engineering, agriculture, animal health, energy and the biosciences. Texas A&M which began in 1876 as an all-male campus with required military training now has a vibrant and diverse student population of 58,500.
Just a short drive away from BCS is the birthplace of Texas independence, Washington, Texas, and fields of springtime bluebonnets. And visitors to BCS cannot miss the imposing Kyle Field with seating for 102,733, home to SEC football and the world renowned Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band.
The community strives to recognize and remember those who have served their country and especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice. There is a shared desire to pursue innovation and advancements that will positively impact lives around the world. It is a community where every visitor can expect to be greeted with a smile and a “Howdy.”
BRYAN/COLLEGE STATION MILITARY HISTORY ATTRACTIONS
- The George Bush Presidential Library & Museum includes an area dedicated to the history of World War II with a restored 1944 TBM Avenger, just like the aircraft Bush flew as a Navy pilot and a flight simulator where you can try your hand at landing the TBM on the deck of the San Jacinto. The Presidential Museum also features interactive displays and fiber optic maps detailing the events surrounding the battles in the Gulf War and recorded stories from some of the servicemen that were in the middle of the action.
- The Sanders Corps Center is also housed on the Texas A&M University campus. It depicts the Corps of Cadets from its beginning in 1876 to today and houses informative displays as well as a library of over 3,000 military research volumes.
- Texas A&M University’s Cushing Memorial Library is also an important resource for those interested in military history. The Library’s Cooper K. Ragan Military History Collection is comprised of nearly 30,000 volumes spanning military history from the American Civil War through and including the Gulf War, but concentrating most heavily on the twentieth century (from the Spanish-American war through the Gulf War).
- The Brazos Valley Veterans Memorial is one of the most extensive veterans’ memorials in the country. This beautiful and unique 12 acre memorial park commemorates the sacrifices of veterans during each of the conflicts in our nation’s past. A walking path through a forested shaded area tells our nations’ military history through a series of 22 historical interpretive panels and statues. The 9-11 memorial includes an actual steel beam from the World Trade Center.
- The Museum of the American G.I. is a living history museum dedicated to preserving the equipment, uniforms and memories of all American servicemen and women. It is home to one of the finest collections in the U.S. of restored, running WWI, WWII and later era military vehicles including a WWI FT-17 tank, WWII Sherman tanks, M18 Hellcats and various other tanks as well as historic uniforms and equipment.
Doing Business in Bryan/College Station
Research Valley Partnership
The Research Valley Partnership (RVP) serves as the catalyst of economic development in the Bryan and College Station region, connecting community, university and industry, and building upon the foundation of the Texas A&M’s global expertise in engineering, agriculture, animal health, energy and the biosciences.
The Partnership operates under the ethos of ImpactLife™ by giving priority to projects and initiatives that bring both economic and social impact—locally and globally—impacting life for the greater good.
RVP has forged close relationships with the Wallonia region of Belgium which has resulted in the expansion of Belgian companies to the Bryan-College Station area as well as the creation of start-up companies harnessing Belgian and American technology and ideas.
RVP’s Venture Virtual Office makes doing business between Texas and Europe easier. Texas companies interested in targeting Europe for expansion and attracting foreign investment can benefit from the Office’s connection to elite research institutions and business partners. Belgian companies can receive personalized services to help them explore U.S. market opportunities or even establish a Texas presence.
How did a foreign museum, even one in Bastogne, come to celebrate “le courage des jeunes Aggies,” translated to “the courage of young Aggies?” Common values and a united vision are the true driving forces.
Really, it all boils down to a shared “can do” attitude and desire to serve. Texas A&M has built a strong reputation for making basic scientific discoveries, and more importantly, turning those innovative discoveries into real, tangible products. It’s part of the Aggie culture—a culture of doers who make discoveries and develop capabilities. That served as the foundation for the partnership that now exists between Texas A&M Health Science Center and a Walloon-based pharmaceutical juggernaut formerly known as GlaxoSmithKline, now GSK. GSK shares a commitment to public service, reflecting similar cultural and philosophical values aimed at improving public health.
The partnership was formally announced in March 2013, when Dr. Brett P. Giroir, then vice chancellor for strategic initiatives with The Texas A&M University System, joined Texas Governor Rick Perry, A&M Chancellor John Sharp, and leaders from GSK in announcing plans to create a state-of-the-art influenza-vaccine manufacturing facility in Texas. The $91 million facility, on track for completion at the end of 2015, anchors the Texas A&M Center for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing (CIADM). The center, one of three such national biodefense centers and the only one led by an academic institution, is playing a major role in combatting worldwide pandemics and emerging diseases through rapid development and manufacturing of life-saving vaccines. Today, the Texas A&M CIADM, together with its partners including GSK, is spurring new innovation to address many of the toughest challenges facing global health security and public health preparedness. And this is all made possible because of a common vision and a commitment to make that vision reality.
GSK’s Senior Vice President for Vaccines Antoon Loomans said it best at a September 2014 site dedication of the Texas A&M Pandemic Influenza Vaccine Facility on the Texas A&M Health Science Center campus in Bryan-College Station, Texas:
“The work underway here enables people to fulfill their potential: They can do more, feel better and live longer. Helping make that possible is our mission at GSK, and we’re delighted to have the opportunity to further this mission here in collaboration with an esteemed partner such as Texas A&M.”
Shared values—that’s what brought Texas A&M and GSK together, and that’s what serves as the foundation for the next chapter in a story that will forever bond Texas Aggies with Belgium.
In the News
Statesman – Perry & A&M dedicate key element of vaccine center
Houston Chronicle – New A&M facility aimed at threat of flu pandemic
The Eagle – Gov. Rick Perry hails impact of vaccine manufacturer at College Station groundbreaking
BioNews-TX – Gov. Perry Dedicates Novel Pandemic Influenza Vaccine Facility in the Texas Biocorridor
KBTX – Texas A&M Health Science Center Dedicates New Facility To Produce Mass Flu Vaccines