Education Center campaign is underway
We want to tell the story of our veterans' service to our nation!
For more than two centuries, the United States Army has defended our nation and the liberties we enjoy. Yet, despite the Army's enormous contributions to our nation, no single place has documented those contributions in a comprehensive way. To correct this shortfall, in March 1999, then Secretary of the Army Louis Caldera approved the establishment of what is to become "the world's finest Army museum" at Carlisle Barracks.
Subsequently, on Oct. 11, 2001, then Secretary of the Army Thomas E. White announced the transformation of the U.S. Army Military History Institute (MHI) into a state-of-the-art world class archive to be co-located with an educational facility and the previously authorized museum, with the complex being designated the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center (AHEC).
Once completed, the world-class complex will honor the service and sacrifice of soldiers and their families by presenting their personal stories; will preserve and make available for study artifacts and archival materials; and will educate and inspire visitors by telling the Army's story, one soldier at a time.
Recently, Secretary of the Army Pete Geren reaffirmed the Army's commitment to the AHEC. In his Sept. 20, 2007, memorandum, Secretary Geren stated:
"The Center's campus will play an important role in honoring our Army's soldiers and their families by acquiring, conserving, and making available historical materials and artifacts for study through programs that will inform the American public about the Army's contributions to the nation."
The development of the AHEC campus is being accomplished through a unique public-private partnership supported by the U.S. Army, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, local governments, private citizens, corporations and foundations, and the Army Heritage Center Foundation (AHCF). The AHCF is an IRS 501(c)(3) public service organization tasked with supporting the AHEC's numerous programs and raising the funds necessary to build a Visitor and Education Center (VEC) and a museum as part of the AHEC complex. While the army funds the construction of facilities that support existing or recognized Army functions, the AHCF and its private partners must fund the construction of the public education and public outreach components.
The AHCF is engaged in a capital campaign to build the VEC and the Army Heritage Museum. The VEC, an overall $26 million project, will be built in two phases costing some $13 million each. Phase I is nearly within our financial reach. Presently, we have $10.75 million in contributions and pledges toward the construction costs. When complete, the VEC will provide the AHEC with a facility housing lecture halls, public meeting and educational facilities, and a large gallery for the display of artifacts.
We seek the support of your association and its membership in building this campus to honor the service and sacrifice of our past and present soldiers and their families and to education and inspire visitors, particularly today's youth in grades five through 12.
Should your organization or individual members be willing to support this worthwhile endeavor, please send your tax-deductible donation.
Army Heritage Center Foundation
PO Box 839
Carlisle PA 17013
The United States Army Heritage and Education Center (AHEC) is a 56-acre military history, education and cultural campus being created in Carlisle PA. When fully developed, the Center will include five components:
— Military History Institute — a research library and archives for personal papers of soldiers and their families
— Visitor and Education Center — the visitors' "front door" to the complex, the locus of educational activities and the first gallery for the Army Heritage Museum
— Army Heritage Museum — a museum that will tell the Army's story one soldier at a time
— Army Heritage Trail — an outdoor venue to support education, living history, and interpretive programs
— Conservation Laboratory — a facility to meet the Army's obligation to preserve items entrusted to its care.
The project is a unique public/private-sector initiative. The Army has constructed a new facility for the Military History Institute (Ridgway Hall), and will construct the Conservation Laboratory in fiscal year 2009. The Army is currently developing the Army Heritage Trail as a venue for large artifacts, period structures, and living history programs.
The Army Heritage Center Foundation is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) and leads a public-private partnership that, through donated support, will fund the construction of the public components of the complex — the Visitor and Education Center and the Army Heritage Museum.
Once the construction program is complete, the Foundation will transfer these facilities to the Army to operate and maintain as part of the Army Heritage and Education Center. The Foundation will then focus on providing "margin of excellence support" to meet the needs of educational programs and other activities at the AHEC where federal funds are unavailable.
The Foundation also manages an educational program, "Voices of the Past Speak to the Future," which creates and distributes educational content for use by teachers and students throughout the United States.