MIAMI COUNTY — Mitch Fogle served the United States of America for decades as a member of the U.S. Navy and he has once again been called to serve his community to preserve, honor and share the stories of local veterans as the executive director of the Miami Valley Veterans Museum.
Fogle retired from the U.S. Navy as a chief petty officer in 1994 and then worked as the buildings and grounds supervisor of the Troy-Hayner Cultural Center for six years. Fogle began volunteering with the Miami Valley Veterans Museum shortly after it opened at the former Stouder Hospital location. In 2011, Fogle served as a trustee on the board before accepting the director’s position this spring.
Fogle will be in charge of the museum’s management of the day-to-day operations and building improvements related to the museum.
“I was excited when this place first started. There’s not too many small towns that have such an exhibit as this,” Fogle said of the Miami Valley Veterans Museum. “It’s a nice exhibit and it’s pretty extensive, too.”
Fogle said the museum has collected a wide variety of military memorabilia. The museum has more than 2,000 artifacts ranging from the War of 1812 to the present. A piece of The World Trade Center also is part of the museum’s collection.
“We get a lot of donations, weekly donations,” Fogle said of the memorialbia that is donated by local families and veterans themselves.
Fogle said the museum continues to grow its collection and will soon be adding seven more exhibit cases to fill with local artifacts and history. The cases are being built for the museum by students at the Upper Valley Career Center.
Fogle said interest in the museum and its collection is also growing, including building a relationship with the Dayton VA Medical Center’s museum as well as collaborating with the WACO Historical Society to build each other’s programs.
“The VA center in Dayton has a really nice museum and I’ve been down there recently to visit and we’re working together to help each other out,” Fogle said.
Fogle said he and the museum’s board, including president Stephen Larck and volunteers, are working to put together a program to take to schools for students to learn more about the nation’s military and their role in the local and national history.
“Here probably starting in the fall, we’re putting together a program to talk to the schools to education about the military and what it’s like to be a veteran,” Fogle said.
The Miami Valley Veterans Museum also hosts a veterans coffee beginning at 9 a.m. the first Wednesday of the month.
“You have your regulars that come up every month and they look forward to that,” Fogle said. “They come up and tell their stories. We have people come up from time to time for presentation and we’re hoping to expand that also.”
Fogle said the Miami Valley Veterans Museum is always looking for volunteers to assist in variety of ways. If you are interested in volunteering, email Fogle at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 332-8852.
The museum is located on the second floor of the Masonic building at 107 W. Main St., downtown Troy.
The museum is open to the public Tuesday through Saturdays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and by appointment.
For more information, visit www.theyshallnotbeforgotten.org.