COPPERAS COVE — The National Mounted Warfare Foundation project to bring a state-of-the-art museum to Fort Hood received a large boost Friday when the Copperas Cove Industrial Foundation pledged the second half of a $100,000 check to the project.
The foundation is a Texas nonprofit corporation whose mission it is to facilitate business growth, create jobs and increase the local tax base, said Jimmy Clark, a board member.
“This is a worthy cause to Cove to bring this museum here for soldiers and their families,” Clark said. “It will do great things for tourism and to honor our mounted solders.”
The foundation has raised funds for three years and hopes to begin construction in 2017 and open in 2019, said Shannan Shipman, business manager.
“Fort Hood gave us 68 acres located just outside the post between the visitors center and the horse cavalry detachment,” she said. “It will be a world-class, 21st century, technologically advanced interactive museum that will tell soldiers’ stories. There will iPad interfaces, touch screens and simulators where you can be immersed in a battle of your own choosing, for example.”
The two museums on post will roll into this larger museum and the keys will be handed over to the Army once it’s complete, Shipman said.
In January, officials said about $2.5 million was raised for the museum. The foundation hopes to raise $7 million this year to keep it on target to break ground on phase one in 2017. The entire first phase is projected to cost $27.7 million. There are two additional phases, including a park and storage facility.
The support of Cove businesses and the community in general is very important to the project because it shows the museum has the community’s full backing, said retired Lt. Gen. Paul Funk, president of the foundation.
“This museum will stand as something pretty special and as a distinct activity for Central Texas, especially for its citizens, soldiers and their families,” Funk said. “It will be a place where we honor not the place but those who do the fighting and dying and those who have gone before.”
Fort Hood is a unique place, too, because every system, training, technology, software and improvement in the Army has been tested, tried and vested here, Funk said.
“From the Abrams tank to the Bradley fighting vehicle to night vision capacity, it came through Fort Hood and we want that story included,” he said.