HARRISBURG, Ohio (WCMH) — With Veterans Day approaching, a little museum that started out of one man’s basement is preparing to honor soldiers from every major U.S. conflict.
The Central Ohio Military Museum in Harrisburg is run by Bob Traphagan. He is not a veteran, but he has a lifelong fascination with military history.
“Well as a kid, my dad was a World War II vet, his brother, his brother in law and my mom’s two brothers all World War II vets,” Traphagan said. “So you always heard the stories. You heard the guys talking about their time in the service.”
Firefighters in Pleasant Township honored the curator of the central Ohio military museum with a plaque, and a check for $1,000.
“It feels it feels really good knowing that there’s somebody that cares that it’s just not gone to the wayside, or that you’re forgotten in any way,” said firefighter union president and veteran Chris Kurkowski. “You know, there’s people that are still going to continue on, do you know telling your story, and that’s what’s being told here is everyone’s story.”
Many veterans’ stories are on display at the museum. There is a Gold Star wall of the Grove City area military members who died in service to their country, and sections devoted to every major conflict.
Until five years ago, the massive collection was stored in Traphagan’s basement, until he realized he wanted to share it with the community and veterans.
“This is to me, this is the pleasure I get to honor veterans get to meet them hear stories, no one else gets to hear,” Traphagan said.
Traphagan has formed a non-profit 501-3-c organization and certainly welcomes visitors and donations.
“We don’t charge veterans to come in, you know, that’s, that’s why we do the donations,” Traphagan said. “And then it’s only $2 if you’re not a veteran, and that way anybody can afford to stop in the museum.”
To see more about the Central Ohio Military Museum, visit its website.