BROKEN ARROW, Okla. - It has had several temporary homes, but the Military History Museum now has a permanent home in Broken Arrow.
Retired Brigadier General Tom Mancino took Oklahomans back in time today, during the museum's open house. The museum officially opens this Tuesday.
"We have an Oklahoma focus," Mancino, the museum's vice president said. "Our artifacts have a story that relates to Oklahomans."
Other veterans joined Mancino in giving tours today and in the process telling the stories of thousands of Oklahomans, men and women that served in some of America's earliest wars and more recently Iraq and Afghanistan.
"Now veterans have a place to focus their lives and the things that they collected," retired General Ed Wheeler said.
Those things Wheeler refers to range from uniforms, to weapons, to pictures and much more, all now publicly on display.
With open display cases the museum staff is welcoming future donations from military families throughout the state.
"Specifically Vietnam, Korea and the modern era," Mancino said.
The museum was first put on public display in 2000 in a temporary location at Memorial High School in Tulsa. The museum was transferred to a second temporary location, before now finding a permanent home in Broken Arrow.
Colonel Robert Powell is the museum's founder and said the museum keeps America's military history alive.
"It is amazing to see this thing develop the way it has. We couldn't realize because it has always been in a cramped space, but to have it all shown the way it is supposed to be shown is absolutely great," said Henry Primeaux, a Navy Veteran.
Primeaux donated several items to the museum.
On display are artifacts representing 13 wars. The museum's vice president hopes the biggest impact will be left on Oklahoma's school children.
"Our goal is we want to promote patriotism through the preservation of military history," Mancino said. "We are intending to make this available to school children throughout Northeastern Oklahoma. We want them to understand the relative importance of military history."
The Military History Museum officially opens November 12. It will be open Tuesday - Fridays 10 a.m to 4 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. More information can be found at www.okmhm.org .