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Moms and Money: Air and Military Museum of the Ozarks

Published: Nov. 11, 2021 at 10:21 AM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - It’s amazing what a group of friends can accomplish.

“We spent a lot of time finding equipment and talking to people and so on like that,” said Ray Hopper, CEO of the Air and Military Museum of the Ozarks.

Located on Kearney Street in North Springfield, the Air and Military Museum of the Ozarks is home to over five thousand pieces of military history, the passion project of five veterans over the past 40 years.

“The whole idea is so they can get more information and be able to come here and study about certain pieces of equipment or certain battles certain areas of the world,” said Hopper.

Mixed in the historic artifacts from every major war dating back to the Civil War, are the stories of soldiers who fought on the front lines. One of those stories is about a soldier from the Joplin area, who is now back home in Missouri after his plane went missing in France during World War II. An effort spearheaded by this group of veterans.

“We heard about it. I’d heard about it for years about an aircraft being over there. Finally, we put our feet to it, to try to trace that down. And there are several of us who wrote letters and talked to Representative Roy Blunt,” said Hopper.

It’s all a part of their effort to educate future generations, so they understand the sacrifice of the soldiers who came before them. Throughout the museum are interactive exhibits, meticulously restored over the years by the group.

“If we can’t share with those children and adults as well, we’ve defeated the whole purpose. Children need to know what their parents, grandparents, different ones they’ve read about did in the war,” said Hopper.

The Air and Military Museum of the Ozarks is open Tuesday through Saturday from Noon to 4 pm. It’s $5 for adults, $3 for kids six to eleven and kids under five are free. They also offer birthday parties, host groups, and field trips. To learn more about visiting, click here.

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