Opening soon in downtown Cape Coral in the old Sweat Bay grocery building will be a one-of-a-kind facility designed for both veterans as well as the general public, interested in both the history of past wars……….but also much more. The ribbon cutting ceremony by the mayor on 9/9/12 kicks off the facility.
The non-profit organization is the dream of Ralph Santillo who is a veteran himself. There will be several unique features to this facility:
1] Resolve issues for returning younger veterans. Ralph and others quickly saw the need for assistance in finding jobs for returning vet’s, so a center will be available within the building for help in job placement and employer job fairs. This part of the center will also be used to help the returning vet’s with career choices, housing needs, counseling, and help with post traumatic stress, as well as liaison with the VA for Federal programs.
2] Library for historians. The Library portion of the building will hold volumes of books from the Civil War era, to todays latest actions in Iraq and Afganistan…..and everything in between. The books are available for anyone who wants to come in and read. The reading area will also offer the ability to take books home for a few day’s like a public library. People doing research on battles or past actions where past loved ones fought and served, will be open for their research as well.
3] The Museum. Items from all over the world have found their way to this small but ever-growing collection. Currently the highlight piece is a German flag from Bastogne in the Battle of the Bulge in 1944, and was captured by a Cape Coral resident named Weldon Taylor. Once the public learns more about the facility, items will be coming forward for display.
Although a small operation at first, it will soon grow into the entire building. There is a large parking lot with free parking and a bus stop by Lee County at the east end of the lot. The address is 4820 Leonard Street, Cape Coral, Fl. The facility is downtown, just east of Coronado Parkway and one block south of Cape Coral Parkway. For more information about hours, etc. Call 541-8704.
I think this will be a great addition to Cape Coral, especially with the new VA Clinic opening up on Diplomat Parkway in the NE part of the city. It also is a great addition to the long time established Cape Coral Museum located on Cultural Parkway in central Cape Coral..