There is a way to become a permanent part of the upcoming National Museum of the United States Army. You can add your story at one of the future museum’s three registries: one for soldiers and veterans, their supporters, and another for animals who served.
The Registry of the American Soldier, run by the Army Historical Foundation, has been around for more than seven years.
So far over 115,000 soldiers have enrolled and of those 13,000 have photos with their entries. Represented in the registry are soldiers from every state and American territory as well as every major war.
“Everyone who has served really deserves to be recognized,” said retired US Army Col. David Fabian, chief of staff of The Army Historical Foundation.
Fabian listed some of the notable people in the registry including Medal of Honor Recipients Audie Murphy and Chaplain Emil Kapaun, baseball legend Joe DiMaggio, Sen. Bob Dole, and Hollywood great Mel Brooks under his real name Melvin Kaminsky.
Fabian said though that, “everybody belongs” in the registry.
“Every soldier has a story to tell and he has the opportunity to tell it in his or her own words in the registry,” he said.
The foundation is hoping for more photos in the registry entries and submissions from women and minorities “because that represents the army and that’s what we want to show,” Fabian said.
The Army Community registry is for army spouses, department of the army civilians, contractors, Red Cross field representatives, or USO employees, according to the site and Fabian. The animal registry includes military dogs, a cat that was an unofficial unit mascot at an outpost in Iraq, and a World War I pigeon that was honored by both the American and French armies.
The registry entries are currently accessible online at armyhistory.org. Future generations will be able to access these records of their relatives when they visit the museum at kiosks located near the Soldier Story gallery.
Fabian said they eventually plan to add the capability to include video in the registry.
Soldiers, veterans, and family members can submit an entry online or by mail. They must create an account per registry in order to submit an online entry. This will also allow them to update entries later on, especially for those who are still in the service.