American Heritage Museum to host Desert Storm veterans Feb. 13

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Daniel Vaughan

By Bonnie Adams, Managing Editor

Museum offers special admission discount for Community Advocate readers now through March  

Hudson – On Saturday, Feb. 13, visitors to the American Heritage Museum (AHM) will have the opportunity to meet five veterans and hear their stories about serving in Desert Storm/Desert Shield.

The AHM is housed in a 67,000 square foot facility, so there is plenty of room for safe, social distancing, according to Hunter Chaney, the Director of Marketing for the Collings Foundation, who oversees the museum. The five veterans will be at the museum throughout the day, offering a chance for visitors to talk with them in the confines of their own group.

Honoring those who served in Gulf War

The Gulf War, that lasted from August 1990 to February 1991, was a war waged by coalition forces from 35 nations led by the United States against Iraq in response to Iraq’s invasion and annexation of Kuwait arising from disputes over oil and substantial debt. On Jan. 16, President George H. W. Bush announced the start of what would be called Operation Desert Storm—a military operation to expel occupying Iraqi forces from Kuwait.

While Desert Storm has been largely overshadowed by the later Iraq War and the crisis with ISIS and global terrorism, the impact and relevance remain. About 697,000 U.S. troops took part in the war; approximately 299 lost their lives. It is estimated that between 20,000 and 35,000 Iraqi soldiers died during the ground war. Civilian deaths resulting from the conflict are estimated at between 100,000 and 200,000.

“This is a rare opportunity to hear the stories directly from the veterans who were there,” Chaney said, of the five men. “It serves as a particularly impactful living history experience.

The five veterans are:
Christopher LeBlanc – Served aboard the USS El Pasco LKA-117 stationed in Kuwait City.
Daniel Vaughan – Attached to the HHC 1st Battalion, 35th Armor, 1st Armored Division.
Paul Beaulieu – Part of the 3/32 Armor, 1st Cavalry Division.
Paul Souza – Assigned to B Company of Taskforce 1/32 AR, 1st Cavalry Division.
Randi Richert – Served with HHC 1/34 Armor, 1st Brigade & 1st Infantry Division, 7th Corps.

Additional hours for February vacation week/ strict safety protocols
The museum is normally open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; however it will also be open Monday, Feb. 15 and Tuesday, Feb. 16 for the February school vacation week.

“Masks are required at all times and there are sanitation stations at every corner,” Chaney said.  “The staff is constantly going around and cleaning high touch areas such as railings.”

Staff will oversee the number of people allowed at a time in the smaller exhibit areas to ensure they do not get too crowded.

“Our crews are really great and so attentive to safety measures,” Chaney said. “They do everything they can to make sure everyone feels welcome and safe.”

Guests can purchase tickets ahead of time on the AHM’s website (www.americanheritagemuseum.org) or on the day of their visit at the admissions desk.

The museum is located at 568 Main St., Hudson.

Paul Souza
Randi Richert