Marine Museum in Jacksonville steps up fundraising efforts


JACKSONVILLE, Onslow County - The Carolina Museum of the Marine has been in the works for 17 years.

The nonprofit organization is in the midst of an ambitious and unique fund raising campaign. It's called Long Live The Legends. They are interviewing military heroes and putting their stories online to try and inspire people to donate to the construction of the museum that will be built at Lejeune Gardens in Jacksonville.

They need to raise some where between $20-28 million dollars for the project. The museum's executive director, Ashley Nielson, has been on the job for three months.

"There is no reason for us to not accomplish our goal in the next 24-36 months," Nielson said. "Marines get things done, sailors get things done, no one is going to lag behind the curve, all we need to do is let people know what we are doing."

The organization is letting them know through videos featuring Marine heroes, like retired Sgt. Maj. Joe Houle. He helped start the project 17 years ago and likes this new marketing campaign.

"We are getting a lot of hits, a lot of feedback. It's helping in a lot of ways," Houle said. "Number one, getting the message out there, we are moving forward.

"As you know, we have been at this a number of years, and we were stagnant. Now we have life and are moving forward and people are excited!"

Houle added the need is there to have this facility built. The National Museum of Marines is located in Quantico, Va.

"There are 70,000 Marines and sailors in the Carolinas not counting the retirees," Houle said. "The national museum is too far away, The Marines and sailors need a place in the Carolinas they can take their families on the weekends and learn about the Marines who served here from 1941 to present."

Several new videos were filmed Tuesday and should be on the website soon. You will also see parts of them during commercial breaks on FOX Eastern Carolina and by clicking here on our website.

"Long Live The Legends is a way of saying all these people who serve are legends," Nielson said. "The word hero is overused, but not in this instance. So this will keep thier memory alive."

Click here and you can also go to museum website and the Long Live the Legend videos.