FORT BELVOIR, Va. - The Army Historical Foundation is progressing in its efforts to raise money to build The National Museum of the United States Army at Fort Belvoir.

The foundation has raised $55 million of the $155 million needed to build the facility.

"We are getting closer to our goal," said retired Col. Dave Fabian, foundation communications director.

The museum's centerpiece will be a major exhibition facility where the stories of Army Soldiers will be joined with thousands of artifacts, documents and images, tracing its history from Colonial times to today.

"It really is going to be a unique destination. Visitors are going to be stimulated emotionally and intellectually," Fabian said.

A series of chronological and thematic galleries will show visitors what it means to be a Soldier in times of both war and peace. Fabian said ground will be broken when $117 million is raised. That is the amount necessary to construct the museum's initial four phases.

"We have 42 or 43 accredited museums across the country. None of them are as comprehensive as this one," noted Fabian.

The museum's interactive learning center will promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM education, with hands-on, education programs for students. A distance education program is also planned.

"The Army and Society Gallery is going to take into account the scientific, cultural and economic advances that the Army has been involved in," Fabian said.

In addition, the U.S. Mint is selling three, distinct, 2011 Army Commemorative Coins: the Army $5 gold coin, silver coin and clad half-dollar. Congress authorized the coins in 2008 to celebrate the Army's history. The coins' themes are "Army Service in War," "Modern Army Service," and "Army Service in Peace."

"Sales are going pretty well," said Fabian. "The most popular coin is the silver coin."

All three coins can be ordered at usmint.gov/catalog or by calling 1-800-USA-MINT.

"They are legal tender," continued Fabian. "They really are a unique, public recognition of the Army and its Soldiers."

Both Lockheed Martin and The Veterans of Foreign Wars have also recently made substantial contributions to the museum. Lockheed Martin pledged $10 million to sponsor the Education Pavilion and the VFW donated $500,000 to support the facility's Veterans' Hall, which will host a variety of educational outreach initiatives, including presentations, demonstrations and a lecture series.

Information on how people can make an individual contribution to the museum is available from armyhistory.org.

Page last updated Fri April 22nd, 2011 at 14:57