By Conrad Dudderar
Senior Staff Writer
A new mobile unit will be deployed during Yukon’s Freedom Fest celebration as the Yukon Veterans Museum expands its reach.
The mobile military museum will be housed inside an enclosed 20-foot trailer provided by museum founder/curator Rick Cacini.
The Yukon Veterans Museum has occupied space in the American Legion Building at 1010 W Main since fall 2016.
“Having this mobile unit will allow us to reach many more people by bringing our Veterans Museum to schools, retirement homes and healthcare centers,” Cacini said.
After this initial deployment during the July 3-4 Freedom Fest, the mobile unit will be available by appointment.
“We’ve already received a request from a retirement home because their residents would like to see our historic military artifacts and memorabilia,” Cacini said. “We’ll now be able to reach out to people who can’t travel and bring our museum to them.
“We’ll also be able to bring it to the schools to let the kids see some of the displays we have. We love it when school groups come to tour our museum.”
A member of the Yukon City Council, Cacini was approached about having historic military items on display during the two-day Freedom Fest at Yukon City Park and Chisholm Trail Park. The topic has been discussed at recent Freedom Fest planning committee meetings.
“City Manager Jim Crosby suggested that we provide something for the veterans and other residents to see,” Cacini said. “Jim wants to take care of our veterans and I appreciate that.”
“The plan I proposed was to have a mobile museum that can move around the park on July 3-4. This is for everyone to see, not just the veterans. We want all Yukon residents to come by because they’re so supportive of our veterans.”
The museum curator said city department directors were receptive to the idea.
‘TRIBUTE TO VETERANS’
The Yukon Veterans Museum’s mobile unit will be on the City Park grounds for the annual
“Tribute to Veterans” on Wednesday, July 3 and all-day Freedom Fest activities on Thursday, July 4. Yukon’s epic two-day celebration features a children’s parade, car show, live music, fireworks displays, concessions, and much more.
The mobile unit will have a carpeted floor and ramp, allowing visitors to easily walk inside to view displays.
“Our veterans at the museum are all working together and Jerry Icenhower is the project manager,” Cacini said. “He is doing a great job.”
Inside the mobile Veterans Museum will be historic uniforms, weapons, photographs, newspaper clippings, and some one-of-a-kind items. The unit has a large display case besides items on its inside walls.
“This is just a sampling,” Cacini said. “Of course, we want people to come to our permanent museum to see everything we have. One of the most popular is an aircraft ejector seat, but it’s too heavy to have in the mobile trailer.”
The Yukon Veterans Museum opened in July 2013 and was housed for its first three years in cramped space on the difficult-to-access top floor of the new-closed Old Central School (Yukon Museum and Arts Center), 601 Oak.
Anyone interested in making an appointment for the new mobile unit should call Jerry Icenhower at 514-6794 or Rick Cacini at 517-1901.