The Goldstar Military Museum at Camp Dodge continues to add exhibits and expand on the stories it tells about the Iowan men and women who have served in uniform. The museum moved into a new larger building in 2009, adding a lot more space and making the new additions possible.
The museum added a replica P40B Tomahawk fighter plane in October, and opened a photo exhibit this month that honors living Iowa veterans. Other exhibits that have been added since the opening of the new building include a submarine periscope where you can look out over Camp Dodge, and a cobra helicopter that hangs from the ceiling.
Museum curator Mike Vogt says there are plans for more, including a World War One Liberty truck that’s undergoing restoration. And they’re exploring the addition of a air refueling boom that would hang from the ceiling. exhibits. As the number of exhibits have increased, the number of people stopping in to view them has too.
“I’ve been here 13 years and when I first arrived — year ending 1999 — we had a little over 49-hundred visitors. Last year we had 21,500, so a five-fold increase in visitors in the last 13 years,” Vogt says. The fundraising effort to pay for the new exhibits is also continuing.
“We’re probably at maybe the 25-percent point, we’ve got about two-point-five million (dollars) we would like to raise to bring the level of all the exhibits in the gallery to where we want it to effectively and meaningfully tell the story of Iowa’s veterans and its military past,” Vogt says.
Vogt says you can send donations to the Iowa Goldstar Museum at: 7105 Northwest 70th Avenue, Camp Dodge, 50131.
The museum is open to the public and free to visit. Find out more about the museum hours here: www.iowanationalguard.com/Museum/Museum.htm