Nov. 9, 2012 -- Lt. Gen. David D. Halverson, TRADOC Deputy Commanding General, attended the grand opening of the new Soldiers Experience exhibit at the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center today.

Halverson said that the Army uses museums to brings Soldiers' experiences to the attention of fellow Americans. "This is about the sacrifices of Soldiers. It's like Patton said -- wars are fought by weapons, but won by Soldiers," said Halverson.

Patricia Morrow travelled from Baltimore to visit the new exhibit and she said the exhibit was perfect for all ages. "I think you can bring your kids here. You can bring your grandparents here," she said.

The exhibit gives patrons a chance to honor Veterans by sharing their stories of military experiences, in peace and conflict, using interactive exhibits, pictures and interpretation.

Each element features personal items, clothing, photos and the words of individual Soldiers selected from six eras: Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom

Visitors can select a dog-tag scan card and follow a Soldier's story scanning the card at five different stations to learn additional information about the Soldier's experience.

The Soldiers and Veterans who are portrayed in the exhibit were invited guests for the opening event.

The 7,000-square foot gallery provides an in-depth look at the history of the U.S. Army as seen through the eyes of Soldiers. Its materials come from the extensive historical collection of USAHEC, which covers every period in the U.S. Army's history from the Spanish-American War through current operations. USAHEC's collection of nearly 67,000 artifacts, 2 million photographs, and 11 million archival and library items, includes a broad spectrum of materials related to the service of individual Soldiers and constitutes nearly 10 percent of all artifacts within the U.S. Army Museum system.

Visitors can:
Experience a simulated Army rifle range
Lift gear that today's Soldiers carry
Experience a bunker attack during a Korean War battle
Parachute into Normandy during D-Day
Obey orders from a drill sergeant during basic training
The Soldiers Experience exhibit at the Army Heritage and Education Center is open Tuesday-Saturday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m.-5 p.m. A gift shop and the Cumberland Café are on site.

In addition to the Army history timeline, the gallery features an electronic rifle range where visitors can test their marksmanship, a Normandy parachute simulator, a Korean War bunker featuring sounds of war, and "Stories from the Heart," a feature film.

Throughout the exhibit there are opportunities to compare the size and weight of different types of weapons and body armor, as well as opportunities to take pictures in current combat gear.

The gallery features interactive components and immersive displays that highlight some of the best Soldiers' stories found in the Heritage Center's historical collections. The exhibit encompasses the Army's history from the Spanish-American War through current operations featuring Soldiers' stories at home, abroad, during combat and in support.