Visit and Tour the Museum
Admission is free. The experience is priceless.
The words above were written in a letter dated February 1, 1946, to the newly discharged Earl Custer, Jr., (pictured to the right) of Melvindale, Illinois, by (then) Secretary of the Navy, James Forrestal. While everyone discharged from the military during that period may have received a similar letter, what matters most is the sentiment expressed:
"The Nation ... will remember you with gratitude."
Good Shepherd Day School fifth-graders, from Punta Gorda, Florida, visit the Museum on Pearl Harbor Day.
At the Military Heritage Museum, our goal is to ensure that future generations continue to express that gratitude. Our mission is:
to promote an understanding and respect for the rich military heritage of the United States and the sacrifices made by our country's veterans, living and dead, emphasizing that freedom is not free.
The Military Heritage Museum is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation that has been in existence for almost ten years. The Museum is located in Fishermen's Village in Punta Gorda, Florida. The Museum is funded by donations and grants, and a paid executive director and administrative assistant are supported by 45 volunteers -- mostly veterans -- who work as Museum guides and help in other ways.
Above: Exhibit of items from Vietnam Prisoner of War Captain Luis Chirichigno
We currently display more than 30,000 military artifacts from as far back as the Spanish-American War to the current conflict in Iraq. The Museum is a testament to the hundreds of thousands of men and women who have defended our freedom by putting their lives on the line through their military service.
This is the only military museum on the southwest coast of Florida displaying actual military artifacts that tell the history of America's role in past and present conflicts, representing all branches of the service and all wars from the Spanish-American War forward.
We are dedicated to educating the public about the rich military heritage of our country. By collecting and displaying historic military memorabilia and artifacts donated by our country's veterans and their families, we play a vital role in preserving the memory -- with gratitude.
Please visit the museum and then consider helping us honor those brave Americans who sacrificed themselves for the freedom we enjoy today by making a tax-deductible financial contribution.