TULSA - Retired Air Force Colonel Robert Powell has dedicated the last twenty years to instilling a sense of pride and patriotism into modern generations of Americans.
Next Monday, he will begin moving his huge collection of military memorabilia into its new home in Broken Arrow.
The Military History Museum is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with a mission statement which reads: "Promoting patriotism through the preservation of military history."
Col. Powell tells KRMG he was shocked when a few years back he was asked to lead the pledge of allegiance at Tulsa Memorial High School and had a hard time even getting students' attention.
It brought home for him a lack of patriotic pride and understanding of our military's history of sacrifice and accomplishment.
"They don't know the first thing about World War II or why it was fought, they've never heard of World War I, and not only the kids, but their parents--they don't know either, and they don't care."
His mission in life is to change that, and thanks to the City of Broken Arrow, he's closer to his goal.
He tried for 15 years to find a permanent home for his museum with the proper amount of room and modern facilities.
"First Tulsa, then Claremore, then Muskogee, back to Tulsa again -- and nobody was interested in it," he says.
But Broken Arrow approached him two years ago with a plan, and they've raised the money to convert an old building downtown into a modern museum.
It includes a plaza with flags dedicated to the branches of the military. Plaques at the base of each flag honor those who helped raise money, and every branch of the service has come through, with one notable exception -- the U.S. Marine Corps.
"We're still waiting for the Marines to do something. We've got the flagpole up," he said. "We're working on the Marine Corps League."
The new museum will be located at 112 N. Main in Broken Arrow.