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March 2003
April 2003
April 2004
March 2004
June 2004
September 2004
The Later Years
The Later Years con…
The Later Years con…

March 2003

● The concept of The Museum of Military History was  devised in a tent at the Vietnam Veterans Traveling Memorial Wall in St. Cloud, Florida. ● Vietnam Veteran, Mr. Jerry Kervin and his brother Jim, along with another Vietnam Vet, Dave Roberts, had an idea to ask the manager of the Osceola Square Mall in Kissimmee, Fl. if they could use a storefront to permanently display items donated and loaned by members of the Vietnam Veterans Association (VVA), Osceola County Chapter 755. ● The three charter members called their display, the “Veterans Tribute” at the time.

April 2003

● The “Veterans Tribute” opened in the Osceola Square Mall, Unit #70, and was initiated by the two Kervin brothers.
● The Museum content was solely donated by the local veteran community.
● Once open to the public, the museum was staffed by volunteers from VVA Chapter 755.
● After the museum’s grand opening, the museum’s founders, the Kervin brothers along with Mr. Frank Clark, began the required paperwork to get the “Veterans Tribute” incorporated.

April 2004

● The first organizational meeting and election of the “Veterans Tribute and Museum” was held in the space formerly occupied by Morrison’s Cafeteria.
● The by-laws and mission statements were enacted.
● The officers elected were Jim Kervin, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Jerry Kervin, Vice Chairman, Mike Goode, Secretary and Frank Clark, Treasurer.
●John Della Costa, Dave Conboy, Ron Zak, Tony C. and Harry DeMaria were elected to the Board of Directors.
● Within three days after this first meeting, incorporation papers were filed with the State of Florida.

March 2004

● The “Veterans Tribute” was moved to unit #80; the main entrance to the mall.
● While there, the decision was made to separate the “Veterans Tribute” from VVA Chapter 755.

June 2004

● The incorporation documents and Employer Identification Number were issued by the state of Florida.
● The “Veterans Tribute and Museum” of Osceola County, Inc., filed for non-profit status as a Veterans Organization and not for profit status as 501(c)19 from the IRS.

September 2004

● They received the Determination Letter from the IRS with designation as a 501(c)19 Veterans Organization (with deductibility) with an effective date of June 30, 2004.
● The search for support, funding and a new permanent home for the museum really began at this time.

The Later Years

  • As more people discovered and visited, the material donations continued and space within the store front became a problem.
  • The Osceola County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) were approached with the idea that a permanent location outside of the mall be found and dedicated as a museum.
    • This site would provide tourists and residents with a place that would tell the story of the sacrifices that our military’s men and women have made and provide an opportunity to educate the public.
  •  The BOCC agreed that they would assist us in this project in 2004.
  • Over the next few years the museum would move a couple times within the mall.

The Later Years con…

  • A team was formed to conduct a feasibility study to see if having  a museum would benefit the county and the community.
    • This study was conducted by the Museum, Osceola County and Valencia College personnel under the direction of Chairman Don Smith.
    • The results of the study showed that a Museum would benefit the County and Community, and serve as a resource for Veterans in the Central Florida area.


The Later Years con…

• The Museum established its internship programs with Valencia College and Workforce Central Florida to help support the museum.
• High school volunteer programs from Osceola County schools provide training and volunteer hours for our county’s students.
• The Museum of Military History opened its doors to the Public on Saturday March 31, 2012 following a ceremony to dedicate the Museum to all Veterans, those heroes who were lost in battle, those who have served, those who are serving today and to the communities of Osceola County


Museum of Military History

Our Mission

Our mission at The Museum of Military History is to educate, increase awareness, build knowledge and understanding of the American military experience through interactive, interpretive exhibits designed for visitors of all ages. 

The Museums Goals

There is a demonstrated need in this country for more education and awareness about the American military experience, both for children and adults. Our mission is to educate, increase awareness, and build knowledge and understanding of the American military experience. The Museum of Military History helps to fill this need by providing interactive exhibits, workshops, lectures, publications and outreach programs.

The museum's exhibits and displays are dynamic, entertaining, hands-on and interactive, to impact both knowledge and critical thinking skills, while at the same time inspiring a sense of fun and adventure. The Museum of Military History layers its exhibits and information on a number of different levels. This fosters learning for a diverse audience, including students, experts and amateurs from local, national and global audiences.

The goal is to help people from all walks of life, and with all levels of knowledge, to better understand and evaluate the experience of combat for American veterans. To this end, the Museum of Military History combines aspects of science, history, art and anthropology museums. The result will be an exploration of modern combat and what it was like as an American to serve his or her country in a time of war. This will serve as an important center for education and culture in Osceola County.

The core function of the Museum of Military History is to encourage, foster and support education in these fields by making learning tangible, interesting and interactive. The Museum of Military History hopes to inspire our visitors with a desire to learn and think critically, encouraging curiosity. The Museum of Military History supports this desire by filling a void in today's learning resources; it will use resources that are not readily available from other sources.

Our museum provides a historical glimpse into our military heritage, with heroic accounts of bravery and sacrifices from those who have fought to maintain our freedom. Our main goal is to pay tribute to those who served while preserving our history and reaching out to help educate our youth. We do recognize that the future of our great country is in the hands of our future leaders and these leaders are in the classroom today ... They are our legacy tomorrow!

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