New military museum opens in Cape Coral

Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:
military museum
ribbon cutting

A new military museum opening in Southwest Florida means the world to those who have served.

Walking through the military museum in Cape Coral means taking a trip back in time. From the Revolutionary War to World War II, each exhibit tells a story, some with a Southwest Florida connection.

The Purple Heart City believes it’s important to shine a spotlight on our military.

On Tuesday, the Brotherhood of Heroes Military Museum and Resource Center officially opened its to serve veterans like Luis Pedro Cruz. “I was in Korea in ’52 and ’53. I was there until the end,” Cruz said. “A place like this is really important for the community because it teaches you the history.”

But not just history about the Korean War, but all wars. The museum wanted to bring together the past and the present.

Chris Cammarota, another veteran wanted to point something out. “This is a replica of the Nimitz,” Cammarota said. The U.S.S. Nimitz holds a special place in Chris’s heart.

“I served on it during 1979 to 1982 and during that time we had a crash on it in 1981 where 14 sailors died in 49 injured,” said Cammarota. That’s why he wanted to bring the replica to the museum.

Michael Geml is one of the founders of the Iwo Jima exhibit. He restored the Eco Park statue more than 40 years ago.

“1978, I came across it and was absolutely dumbfounded what I saw. A huge concrete structure that appears to be the Marine Corps Iwo Jima flag-raising but many of the Marines heads were gone and their rifles were gone,” Geml said. So he had to fix it.

The museum will not only house military treasures but also welcomes veterans’ groups like The Purple Heart and the Disabled American Veterans.

Charley Center is another veteran who says there’s no better place for this museum than Cape Coral. “This town is very big in military; that’s why we’re known as the Purple Heart City,” Center said.

The museum will be open Tuesdays through Fridays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and closed on Sundays and Mondays. They plan to host events.

The military museum is located at 4522 Del Prado Blvd. S. Admission is $4 and free for military and first responders. 

On Tuesday, they had the ribbon cutting for the museum and Lee County Sheriff’s Office’s Community Outreach Center. The center will be made up of four deputies, the deputy dog program and programs on crime prevention and safety. This is the county’s fifth outreach center and Sheriff Carmine Marceno is excited about it.

“Cape Coral is an amazing city. It’s part of Lee County. Lee County is huge for 1200 miles of land and sea for me it’s important that we have the strategically placed satellite office is everywhere in the county,” said Sheriff Marceno.

Copyright ©2023 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.