MVVM seeks volunteers as it expands and repairs facility


By Eamon Baird

[email protected]

TROY — The Miami Valley Veterans Museum (MVVM) seeks to grow its volunteer network as it repairs and expands its facility.

The MVVM is a 5013C non-profit located at 2245 S. County Road 25A. It features over 10,000 artifacts donated by over 900 veterans and their families throughout the Miami Valley. It is free to the public on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., but is looking to expand their hours with more help.

“We need more volunteers to make the museum more accessible,” said Ted Jones, president of the MVVM, who served in the Coast Guard from 1965 to 1969 and was an active reserve member until 1971.

MVVM currently works with Grimes Field Museum in Urbana, which helps provide some of the library’s books and other museum resources.

Jones hopes to expand the museum’s database and work with other local and national museums, including the Air Force Museum in Dayton.

One important phase of preserving the museum is the rooftop project to the former home of the Erwin Chrysler Dealership until MVVM acquired it in 2009.

“The original roof was put in on 1981 and it’s about 3,800-square-feet. It’s taken over a year to raise that kind of money, largely through grants and private donations,” Jones said.

Cotterman Roofing, of Dayton, is scheduled to repair the roof sometime in April, estimated at approximately $130,000.

“They think they can do it in about a week,” Mitch Fogle, vice president of the museum who retired from the Navy in 1994 after 21 years, said. “And if they do, that’d be great because that’s a big job up there.”

John Bankowitz, the curator of the museum, talked about the importance of the items in the museum for preserving history, some of which date back to the early 1800s.

“We try to tell the veterans’ story,” Bankowitz said. “Because every generation goes, you lose a little of the past. We try to perpetuate veteran service to our his or her service.”

Another large-scale museum project is the pole barn next to the main museum. With the assistance of a corporate sponsorship partnership for $500,000, Jones hopes to turn the space into a four-season building and events space and expand veterans’ programs.

“Our plan for this to have a meeting place and office space for people who would want to use it I know that Miami County Veterans Services were interested in helping us a little bit but $500,000 is a lot of money,” Jones said.

The museum hosts a coffee and donuts day on the first Wednesday of every month. Jones said that over 120 veterans attend these sessions.

“We’ll have all the county commissioners here, the mayor is always here and sometimes politicians come here to see what’s going on,” Fogle said.

The next coffee and donuts event is scheduled for March 6, from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m., with special speaker Jean Carpenter, who will talk about the “1996 Terrorist Attack on Khobar Towers.”

The museum hosts other public speaking events throughout the year, including the “Talk to a Vet” program for Veteran’s Day. Last year, over 140 area students attended the event.

“Education is a big part of what we do,” Jones said. “We want families, whether they’re veterans or not, to get an appreciation for what veterans did during their time in the service,”

For more information on the Miami Valley Veterans Museum, visit their Facebook page or

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