This Museum of Veterans and Military History, located in Vilonia, Arkansas, is not only about veterans and their past service but it incorporates veterans, as much as possible, into the daily operational process of the museum. As a vital component supporting its mission, the Museum of Veterans and Military History has acquired collections, set up exhibitions and is performing research using volunteers with abilities in the research field.
Veterans are actively serving in the museum as docents and tour guides. Also, they are helping with research and creating displays as well as serving on the board of directors. This museum is about much more than what is displayed inside. It’s about living history. The museum serves as a place where veterans are invited and encouraged to share living history.
As a fully functioning museum, spaces for collections and storage areas are being maintained. As well, military related items are being displayed in a proper and respectful manner and managed by a museum staff serving in a voluntary status.
Volunteers are from many walks of life and vary in age. Many of the volunteers are active and retired military including those who served in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Desert Storm and Iraq. As well, there is an active group of teachers and high school students involved. Working side by side, the diverse group has provided many hours of sweat equity.
In conjunction with the Vilonia School District, high school students are involved in a project to assist with the recording and preservation of veterans’ individual history pieces to be housed at the museum and available for review by both current and future generations. The students have also created artwork for the walls.
The museum staff has been reaching out to create opportunities for lifelong learning regarding veterans and history. The museum is serving as a location for tours including individual, group and field trips serving all ages including day care children and nursing home residents. The staff’s goal is to inspire a sense of appreciation for veterans and service to one’s country.
Veterans support services such as a veterans’ service officer will be invited to visit as well as VA representatives and authors will be invited to speak. We hope to foster connections and open dialog focused on veterans while showing our respect.
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Source: (Veteran Museum Website)