Monday, June 18, 2012

PRESS RELEASE: Bennington Museum Welcomes Military Personnel

Bennington Museum is proud to announce its participation with more than 1,500 museums across America to offer free admission to military personnel and their families this summer in collaboration with the National Endowment of the Arts, Blue Star Families, and the Department of Defense.  All active duty military personnel and up to five members of their families receive free admission to the museum through Labor Day, September 3, 2012.  Active duty military include Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, and active duty National Guard and active duty Reserve members. The complete list of participating museums is available at

“Through Blue Star Museums, the arts community is extending a special invitation to military families to enjoy over 1,500 museums this summer,” said NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman. “This is both an opportunity to thank military families for their service and sacrifice, as well as a chance to create connections between museums and these families that will continue throughout the year.  Especially for families with limited time together, those on a limited budget, and ones that have to relocate frequently, Blue Star Museums offers an opportunity to enjoy one another and become more fully integrated into a community.”

“As a Blue Star Museum, we are delighted to welcome to the Bennington Museum all active-duty military members and their families as our guests.” said Edie Sawitsky, Acting Director.  “It is our way of thanking them for the sacrifices they make every day.  We hope to see many of them come to the museum and create wonderful memories during the time they have together with their families.”  At a recent weekend drill, the members of the Bravo Troop, 1-172 CAV (MTN), Vermont National Guard led by Capt. Zachariah Fike stopped by the museum to explore the Military Gallery and discuss with Don Miller, Museum Trustee, the battle that took place here.  As they entered the museum they received a round of applause given by the Red Hat Ladies who were also visiting that day.

Blue Star Families is a national, nonprofit network of military families from all ranks and services, including guard and reserve, with a mission to support, connect and empower military families. In addition to morale and empowerment programs, Blue Star Families raises awareness of the challenges and strengths of military family life and works to make military life more sustainable through programs and partnerships like Operation Honor Cards, MilKidz Club and Blue Star Museums. Membership includes military spouses, children and parents as well as service members, veterans and the civilians who strongly support them. To learn more about Blue Star Families, visit

Image:  Capt. Zachariah Fike and Bravo Troop, 1-172 CAV (MTN), Vermont National Guard is welcomed to the Bennington Museum by Don Miller, member of the Bennington Museum’s Board of Trustees.