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Nothing touches the heart (and wets the eyes) like watching a veteran reunited with his or her family. But what happens after the camera stops rolling? When the bear hugs are over and the tears wiped away? Whether Marines or National Guard, Iraq or Fort Hood, all military personnel deserve one very special thing – quality time with loved ones.
That’s where Blue Star Museums comes into play. Blue Star Museums is a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense and more than 2,000 museums nationwide. In short, it’s a simple way for museums to express gratitude by offering military personnel and their families an opportunity to visit at no cost.
“As we kick off our fifth year of Blue Star Museums, more museums than ever are part of this military appreciation program,” said NEA Acting Chairman Joan Shigekawa. “Together with Blue Star Families and more than 2,000 museums, we are proud to help connect military families with the cultural resources in their communities.”
Every year between Memorial Day and Labor Day, participating museums offer complimentary admission to the active duty military personnel and their families – including National Guard and Reserve. The Sam Noble Museum is proud to once again participate in this prestigious alliance in 2014.
“We are pleased to recognize the sacrifice that our military make in service to their country,” said museum director Michael Mares. “We hope they will enjoy special family time at the museum.”
The Sam Noble Museum is one of many places in Oklahoma that hires veterans, and the Blue Star Museums program holds a special place in the heart of several museum employees.
“As a veteran, it’s a humbling experience to know that individuals and institutions have such appreciation for the sacrifices service men and women make,” said Jen Tregarthen, PR and marketing officer for the museum. “I’m honored to work for one of those institutions.”
The Sam Noble Museum is just one of 30 Blue Star Museums in Oklahoma. Others include the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum and the Oklahoma History Center. For a complete list of participating museums in Oklahoma, click here.
At the end of day, it’s not about seeing the world’s largest Apatosaurus or exploring Black Mesa in the Hall of Natural Wonders. It’s about family experiences. We hope that you will share this post with a service member in your life, and to all of the military personnel out there – thank you for your service to our country.