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Camp Ripley veterans registry and the Minnesota military museum

The Minnesota Military Museum wants your story for their "Veterans Registry."

The Registry is a statewide database containing information about the military service of Minnesota Veterans. A qualified Veteran is anyone who once served or is serving in the US military and was either born in Minnesota or lived in Minnesota.

The Registry is easy to use and anyone can submit a Veterans story and pictures of the Veteran. This service is also free and a great way to preserve a record of your service for your family.

Interested Veterans and individuals should visit the Minnesota Military Museum website and click on Veterans Registry.

The Minnesota Military Museum traces its beginnings to 1976 when the Military Historical Society of Minnesota was organized for the express purpose of establishing a state military museum the result of visionary collaboration within three organizations. The Minnesota Department of Military Affairs agreed to provide facilities at Camp Ripley. The Minnesota National Guard Association's history committee formed the nucleus for a governing Board of Directors, and the Minnesota Historical Society agreed to transfer various "start-up" artifacts to the museum and lend some staff support for the first two years. The museum, housed in a former enlisted men's club, opened to the public in June 1977.

The museum moved to its present location in 1987. The main building, constructed in 1931 as a regimental headquarters for summer field training with the Minnesota National Guard, was remodeled and expanded in 1986-87 for use by the museum.* It still houses most of the museum's exhibits, the administrative office, and the museum gift shop. Over the years, several adjacent buildings were also rehabbed to provide space for artifact storage, workshops, offices, library, archives, a classroom, and vehicle exhibits. The entire museum "complex" now covers two acres and includes several buildings. Outdoor exhibits of vehicles, tanks, aircraft, and artillery pieces are placed throughout the museum grounds.

The museum continues to be operated by the Military Historical Society of Minnesota (MHSM), a non-profit educational organization chartered to preserve and interpret Minnesota's military history. It is federally recognized as a charitable 501(c)(3) corporation. A Board of Directors comprised of an executive committee and at-large members governs MHSM. The board appoints an Executive Director who oversees general administrative operations, and a Curator who is responsible for exhibits, collections, and history-related programming. The museum is certified by the U.S. Army Center of Military History and the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, although its mission encompasses all branches of military service. The museum continues to work closely with the Minnesota Historical Society, which also serves as its fiscal agent with the Minnesota Legislature, and with the Minnesota Department of Military Affairs, which provides the facilities used at Camp Ripley.

The Minnesota Military Museum is open seven days a week from May through September and Thursdays and Fridays from October through April, with special tours coordinated at any time.

[Source The Minnesota Military Museum website]

As always please see your local County Veterans Service Officer if you have any questions. You can contact your local VSO at (218) 631-7617 or by email at david.anderson@co.wadena.mn.us and as always have a great week.

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