GROVEPORT, OH (WCMH) — Motts Military Museum has a goal of making sure future generations understand the sacrifices military veterans have made throughout our country’s history.
Owner Warren Motts said he started collecting a few Civil War items in the 60s and gave tours in his parent’s basement.
He also enlisted in the Army National Guard in 1959 and served until 1968 as a photographer for the 37th Infantry Division. After years of collecting artifacts and working as a professional photographer, he said he made a life-changing decision.
“I told my wife I’m going to retire early, come here (Groveport) and work for nothing. I will sell all my accounts and equipment, and she said are you crazy, what are we going to live on?” Motts said.
He said it was like divine intervention.
Motts’ collection is now extensive, almost all of it donated by military veterans and their families. He said he realized early on that these artifacts needed a full-time home.
Once again a friend helped him acquire four acres of land and sold (forgave the loan) him a lot of military equipment.
“I am living a dream, I love this! It is just such a calling, especially when I get to teach the young ones,” Motts said.
He said the education started with his son and daughter. His son is now the head of a military museum near Gettysburg and his daughter helps him manage the Groveport museum.
“It wasn’t uncommon for them to see Paul Tibbets sitting at our kitchen table talking about dropping the A-Bomb in Japan, or Ron Rosser, Medal of Honor recipient in our home,” said Motts.
On Wednesday he was the Keynote speaker at the Columbus State Community College 6th Annual Veterans Day Commemoration Ceremony. He encourages military veterans to further their education.
He spoke of Abraham Lincoln’s speech where he praised our veterans and their sacrifices. “We need to pass this caring attitude on to the future generations so that they always remember that freedom came at a very heavy price,” Motts told the crowd of staff and students.
He said he would not change a thing about his life.
“It has been a real education, but it has been wonderful,” he said.
Motts will be inducted into the Ohio Veteran’s Hall of Fame on November 19
According to an announcement from the Ohio Department of Veteran’s Services: The 20 outstanding inductees will be honored for their accomplishments and achievements at the 25th Anniversary Induction Ceremony. One of those recipients, Edward Byers, Jr. who served in the Navy and is from Wood County, for receiving the Medal of Honor from President Barack Obama. This stellar class of candidates represents 15 Ohio counties and all five military branches.
If you want to visit Motts Military Museum it is at 5075 S Hamilton Rd, in Groveport.