Photo Information

Pictured here is an M-274 mechanical Mule. This vehicle was used in the Vietnam War to carry the 106 recoilless rifles, as well as transport ammunition and chow for service members during the war. This vehicle will be on display during the Museum of the Marine’s fundraiser, ‘A Summers Night with our Heroes’. The event will take place at the Jacksonville American Legion Building from 6 to 10 p.m., July 31.

Photo by Cpl. Jessica L. Martinez

Community helps bring museum to life

17 Jul 2009 | Cpl. Jessica L. Martinez

For those of you who desire some entertainment, but need a change from what Jacksonville typically offers, then the Museum of the Marine has something different to offer.

But, to make it a reality requires help. In order to raise money for construction of the Museum of the Marine, a special event has been arranged. “A Summers Night with our Heroes” will take place at the Jacksonville American Legion Building from 6 to 10 p.m., July 31.

“These fundraisers help us to cover our operating expenses,” said Bill Ayers, a retired Marine colonel and Interim Director of the Museum of the Marine. “The money we raise allows us continue to prepare the exhibits that will go into the museum.”

The Museum of the Marine is planned to be built in the Lejeune Memorial Garden, which is currently home to the Beirut and Vietnam War Memorials off of Highway 17.

The 40,000 square-foot building will house three main galleries and a changing gallery.

The first gallery, called Corps and Carolina, will tell the story of Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point and how the community surrounding the bases has evolved.

The second gallery is called World Warriors. It will tell the battle history of the units who have been at Lejeune. The third gallery, called 21st Century Marine, will show all of the new innovations, equipment and adaptations of the Marine Corps. The fourth gallery is a changing gallery housing special exhibits and will change from time to time.

During the fundraising event, there will be six World War II and Korean War vehicles on display for attendees to observe. Also, active-duty service members will be present dressed in the proper uniforms for the time period they are representing.

“It’s going to be a really great time,” said Ayers. “We’ve got door prizes, a silent auction, and an auction with an auctioneer, so there’s a chance for everybody to get something. You can either win it or buy it.”

The museum will tell the story and what it means to be a “Carolina Marine.” The fundraiser allows the community to get involved in the story and help out with their donations and time. 

The event is open to everyone and tickets are currently on sale for $55 per couple and $35 per person. The ticket covers a catered buffet, beverages throughout the evening as well as a silent auction.

Other entertainment will also be available, such as a dancing and door prizes. Many items will be auctioned from original paintings and signed and numbered prints to authentic World War II uniforms and vacation trips.

Monetary donations and auction items are still being accepted. For more information about the event or to purchase tickets call Tonya Ramsey at 938-7653. For more information about the Museum of the Marine, visit the Web site at