June 7, 2012
-- Vietnam Veteran and Purple Heart recipient, George Turak of Nottingham, Pennsylvania visited and toured the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center on June 6. Mr. Turak is the owner of Turak Gallery in Philadelphia.
During his visit, Mr. Turak donated a Fedayeen execution sword, which was used to punish and discourage deserters in Saddam Hussein’s Army, to the Army Heritage Center Foundation, the “friends group” for the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center in Carlisle. The sword was presented by a group of Assyrian Christians to U.S. Army Reserve Lieutenant Colonel R. Alan King in May of 2003. The sword, one of seven known to exist, was used by Saddam Hussein’s regime from the mid-1990s through the early 2000s. LTC King wrote about the sword and his time in Iraq in his book, Twice Armed: An American Soldier’s Battle for Hearts and Minds in Iraq. The sword will become a part of the museum collection of the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center.
About the Army Heritage Center Foundation
The Military Heritage Foundation, doing business as the Army Heritage Center Foundation, is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) that, through donated support, is funding the construction of the public components of the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center—the Visitor and Education Center (VEC) and the Army Heritage Center. As the phased construction program is completed, the Foundation transfers these facilities to the Army to operate, staff, and maintain as part of the Center. The Foundation will then focus on “margin of excellence support” to meet the needs of educational programs and other activities at the USAHEC where federal funds are inadequate or unavailable.
The Foundation atwxs completed its Voices of the Past capital campaign in 2010 with the construction of Phase One of the Visitor and Education Center, a key component of the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center campus. Opened to the public on May 20, 2011, the Visitor and Education Center is the focal point for the campus, containing the first large exhibit gallery, and hosting educational activities on the USAHEC Campus.
The Foundation is now is seeking grants and donations for its Build on Success Campaign to build Phase Two of the Visitor and Education Center and to create an endowment to sustain and enhance educational programs. The Foundation’s education program coordinates the National History Day in Pennsylvania, complements the Center’s programs and exhibits, and is a state approved continuing education provider. The Foundation also supports and enhances USAHEC’s public outreach by supporting marketing initiatives and serving as a public advocate of the Center’s mission and programs. Learn more about the Foundation at www.armyheritage.org.