vets

A mockup of the Veterans' Legacies World Headquarters in the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum in McMinnville."

A nonprofit organization documenting the lives of Oregon military is opening its world headquarters in Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum in McMinnville.

Veterans' Legacies will host the grand opening from 3 to 6 p.m. on Veterans Day, Thursday, Nov. 11.

"Our goal is to preserve the histories of all of those who served, and the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum is the perfect partner for our center of operation," said founder Gary Mortensen, an award-winning documentary filmmaker, and president of the Stoller Wine Group,

"Thanks to the Museum, we now have a place where these incredible stories can be recorded, researched and shared in our ever-growing database that includes the stories of more than 9 million WWII veterans as well as those who served during peace time," Mortensen continued.

The headquarters marks the first-time family members, friends, caregivers, and veterans themselves have a physical space to share pictures, biographies, letters, and more. The headquarters includes the Mighty Endeavor oral history recording studio, Ben Cox Research Library, and a free gathering space for museum visitors.

Veterans can schedule an appointment in the oral history recording studio to share stories that will be added to the Veterans' Legacies online database.

Another feature included in the library will be artifacts from the Evergreen Collection. These range from uniforms to helmets and patches, plus personal photo albums donated to Veterans' Legacies by service members and their families.

"We are excited to showcase some of our Collections in context with these veterans' stories," said Lydia Heins, curation and collections director at the Museum. "Displaying some of our many service-related artifacts together with oral histories adds a human dimension to the historical picture. This partnership with Veterans' Legacies helps the Museum in our mission to preserve aerospace history and honor those who serve."

Activities at the opening include a meet and greet with Mortensen, who will give a tour of the newly renovated space. In addition, the Evergreen Digital Theater will be screening Mortensen's award-winning documentaries "This is War" at 11 am and "Shepherds of Helmand" at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Tickets to these screenings are $7 per person, $5 with Museum admission, and free for veterans.

The Veterans' Legacies center will be open by appointment through the end of the year. Learn more at themightyendeavor.com.

Donations and volunteering opportunities can be made by emailing support@evergreenmuseum.org.

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