Military Heritage Museum
Fishermen's Village
1200 West Retta Esplanade, Unit 48
Punta Gorda, Florida 33950
Mon - Sat: 10am to 6pm
Sun: noon to 5pm
Admission is free

10 March 2008 - Goings-On at the Military Heritage & Aviation Museum

I’m pleased to report that the Museum has two additional trustees. David M. Levin, a shareholder with Icard, Merrill, Cullis, Timm, Furen & Ginsburg, P.A., joined the board in February and has agreed to serve as the Museum’s pro bono attorney. Levin is the City Attorney for the City of Punta Gorda and his practice includes environmental, real estate, land use and governmental law.

Colonel James B. Statler (US Army Ret.) joins the board this month. Statler began his military career as a private in the Missouri National Guard during the Korean War, and he retired 30 years later at the end of the Cold War while serving in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He has worked locally as a tax consultant and investment broker with Buelow Tax Service.

These gentlemen join officers Marilyn Smith-Mooney, President; Peter F. Taylor, Vice President; Blair Miliken, Secretary; Ron Olsen, CPA, Treasurer; and trustees C. F. Cline, Dr. David Klein, Brigadier General Rufus Lazzell (US Army Ret.), Bob Melvin, Henry Reposa and George Speidell to make up the Museum’s board of trustees.

Other recent news includes the unveiling of our new “Honoring Our Local Heroes” area in the Museum. Now prominently displayed is a large fabric flag that was made by students at the Genesis Christian School.  The stars and stripes were created with children’s handprints in red and blue paint.  This flag was included in a care package the students sent to Sergeant Ricky Monn, an Army National Guardsman with Arcadia’s A Battery, 3/116th FA BN MLRS, when he was stationed in Ramaadi, Iraq. While there, members of his unit signed the flag, and, upon his return, Monn gave the flag back to the school. They, in turn have given it to the Museum. Please visit the Museum in Fishermen’s Village soon and check it out.

We would still love to make much more of this display.  If you have a local hero, someone who is currently serving in the military -- stateside or overseas, we’ll post his or her photograph and biographical information.  Please call 941-575-9002 if you have someone you’d like to honor.

Flyers, announcements, and advertising are out now for our upcoming event, “I’ll Be Seeing You -- A Tribute to the USO.” This dinner and multi-artist USO-style show, with entertainment provided by Valerie Sneade and Turning Leaf Productions, will be held at the Cultural Center of Charlotte County in Port Charlotte, starting at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 12. The cost is $75 per person, and the tax deductible portion of that is $56.81. Dinner, entertainment, beer and wine are included. (A cash bar for liquor will be available.) A silent auction, $1 select-a-prize drawings, and the start of a raffle for a condo at Fishermen’s Village for a week during the holiday season will also occur.  But there’s no obligation to participate in those -- just come prepared to mix and mingle, eat good food and watch a spectacular show!  The deadline to sign up to attend is April 7. Call 941-575-9002 or go to and click on “News from the Front” to find out how to register.

Back at the Museum, we’re adding inventory to our gift shop, where we’re now selling hats, mugs, key chains, bumper stickers, games, flags, branch-specific photo mats and wood carvings, and many support-our-troops items -- including teddy bears -- and so much more. Come on in and see for yourself.  We take special orders!

Actually, you can visit our gift shop when you come in to buy your tickets to the Florida International Air Show, which will be held on Saturday and Sunday, April 5 and 6.  Adults’ tickets cost $18, and children’s tickets cost $5. Tickets cost a little more at the gate, so buy your tickets now.

Kim Lovejoy is the executive director of the Military Heritage & Aviation Museum, located in Fishermen’s Village in Punta Gorda.  The Museum’s hours are Monday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and on Sunday, noon to 6:00 p.m. For more information about the Museum, call 941-575-9002.