From May 2011 when Tyler Alberts was named to the Fort Worth Business Press 40 Under 40:
Tyler Alberts says he’s always felt a little guilty that his father, and several other relatives, served in the military but he did never did. He says he tried to sign up for the Gulf War, but it was over by the time he was eligible for early recruitment.
“Many of my relatives decorated and served very proudly,” he said. “I thought if I missed my window to do anything like that, I’ll just create a museum that honors those guys that did.”
In 2005, Alberts launched Combat Reels, a Fort Worth-based company that provides organized combat footage of military conflicts to TV and film production companies, as well as the general public. He has released 40 DVDs and is preparing to release another 30 by fall. Alberts began the archival film company after researching the film holdings of the National Archives in Washington, DC. He also spearheaded the creation of Fort Worth’s first military museum, which is dedicated to men and women in units with connections to Texas.
“The film company is just a small spinoff of my whole mission in general, which is the historical preservation of the stories of veterans,” he said. “I’ve been researching World War II for about 14 or 15 years. I decided to spend my free time and vacations going up there and saw there were lots of units that were easily identified because of their patches. I thought how cool would it be for other historians to access this and then I thought how cool would it be if this was your dad or your uncle.”
Alberts has also designed and converted a book mobile unit into a mobile museum highlighting veterans’ history. The unit is scheduled to debut this fall and will visit schools throughout the Metroplex. He has also volunteered more than 500 hours a year as the historian for the 90th Infantry Division Association for World War II and more than 100 hours a year for the 227th Assault Helicopter Battalion, 1st Calvary Division for Vietnam.
“Tyler’s tireless work to collect, safeguard and make accessible the artifacts and precious stories of the men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice has provided Fort Worth with an inspirational jewel,” said nominator Chris Fox of Fox Integrated Marketing Services. “He has been a valuable resource to writers and filmmakers covering World War II.”
Tell us about your prop.
Prop 1: Cased bronzed star with picture of his grandfather:
“He got that for his service for World War II for 308 days of combat service.”
Prop 2: Helmet
“This helmet is displayed in the museum and was recovered from Normandy by a French boy, at the time. He recovered the helmet when he was young boy picking up things over the years and I became great friends with him.”
What is the strangest thing you’ve expensed?For the museum: “I bought a pair of World War I trench art vases at a flea market in Eastern France.”
Where did your first paycheck come from?
Alberts was self-employed at the age of 7. He helped published a three-block newspaper called the Madeleine Times Journal for his neighborhood. He also washed cars, dogs, windows and more from a red wagon he wheeled around his neighborhood.
What’s been the most influential book, movie or person in your life?
His parents. I learned my “no fear” attitude from them. Most everyone else I knew thought I went off my rocker when I wanted to do this.
Another profession you would like to try?
“I don’t know if there is anything else I would want to do. I think I’ve found my calling now.”
Are you an early bird or night owl?
Both, depending on the situation.
Combat Reels, Incorporated is a Texas based company providing organized combat footage of military conflicts to the general public and television/film production companies worldwide. Corporate headquarters is located Ft. Worth.