A half-million dollar commitment has brought a local military museum closer to its goal of breaking ground on a larger, permanent facility.
The pledge of funds came via a May 15 letter from a donor who wishes to remain anonymous, said Becky Bayer-Hughes, executive director of The Mountain Post Historical Association.
The funds cannot be used until the association is ready to break ground on the new, 16,000-square-foot facility, which will replace the temporary one outside of Fort Carson's main gate.
Ground-breaking was expected this fall but has now been pushed back to late spring at the earliest. It won't happen until the association raises "a little over $5 million," Bayer-Hughes said.
Though fundraising is occurring more slowly than boosters had hoped, they don't plan to give up.
"We know that we are in a donor-fatigued market right now, not only locally, but nationwide," she said. "We're just going to keep on marching until we get this baby done."
Retired Army Lt. Gen. Ed Soriano, president of the Mountain Post Historical Association, said the group remains enthused about fundraising efforts.
"We're very positive about it," he said. "We don't want to forget our soldiers. We don't want to forget the sacrifices that they've made. This is what the museum is all about.
"We're asking the community to support this in any way they can. We think this is important and think they do, too."
The expanded museum will pay homage to each unit that has served at Fort Carson since the post was founded in 1942.
The temporary museum houses military artifacts awaiting transfer to the new facility, including World War I and Vietnam War memorabilia and the plug that concealed the hole in the ground where Saddam Hussein was hiding when he was captured by 4th Infantry Division soldiers in late 2003 near Tikirt, Iraq.
Also on display is a money box that once contained $750,000 in U.S. currency that Hussein had in his possession when he was captured.
Those interested in donating time or money can contact the nonprofit at www.mountainposthistoricalcenter.org.