“The artifacts of this place are much more important than anything I have at my home."
At the end of August, the G.I. Joe's Living History Museum celebrated a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark their opening in a new location right outside of Kinston, North Carolina. A few short weeks later, disaster struck when Hurricane Florence pummeled along the Carolinas and Virginia.
Despite the happy welcome to their new home, the museum was unfortunately impacted by the storm and the building suffered from extensive flooding. Yesterday, the museum's founder and CEO, Eric Cantu, took Greenville, North Carolina's WITN inside the building — entering through the back door because of the storm's impact.
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“The artifacts of this place are much more important than anything I have at my home," Cantu told the network. "So I am just so optimistic that we are going to be up and running by Veterans Day just like we planned." Thankfully, Cantu and his team were able to box precious memorabilia up before the storm came. Now, Cantu and the volunteers are shifting their efforts toward cleaning up the remaining water in the building and replacing the walls.
Meanwhile, they're still hopeful to be open by Veterans Day, as originally planned. For now, the museum is working with the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) nonprofit to pitch in with serving local veterans who are struggling in the aftermath of Florence. The museum has also been donating food and cleaning supplies to those in need at the Joseph Dixon Rountree American Legion Post 43.
You can view WITN's full segment here.
To learn more or help, visit the museum's Facebook page here.
We're sending our best wishes to Eric and his team for a speedy and safe recovery.