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Renovations Improve Lewis County Museum

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The Mountaineer Military Museum is renovating and expanding from its current space, and it's all part of its mission to remember our veterans.

Work is already well underway at the Weston museum that celebrates the history of the military in every era, from the most recent conflicts to the Civil War and beyond.

The museum has turned into a passion for Barb McVaney, whose husband, Ron, started the museum in memory of close friends.

"The museum is founded on a promise that my husband made to childhood friends that he lost during the Vietnam War. He made a graveside promise to make sure his friends would never be forgotten," said McVaney.

And to further that goal, the McVaneys, along with volunteers like Gary Rogers, are expanding into an area three times the size of their original space in an old Weston schoolhouse. Rogers also wants to keep the veterans' memories alive for other veterans and the rest of the country, too.

"A lot of memories for a lot of people. My neighbor come up, was never in the military, and he spent two hours in here, just walking around, looking and he was amazed," Rogers said.

The new space will be used to highlight each conflict individually. Ron McVaney served in the military during Vietnam and said that exhibit in particular will be especially moving.

"And that one display will just really reach out and grab people, and that's the heart of our museum," said Barb McVaney

Rogers is looking forward to the day that the museum is fully reopened with the new space, so that no military veteran will ever be forgotten again.

"You know, during the Vietnam and Korean War, when they came home, nobody had anything to do with them, so I don't think I ever want that, to have a vet go through that again," said Rogers.

The museum will host a painting party Saturday morning and is also looking for donations of wood to help build new displays for the new addition.