Veterans from around the country are celebrating the opening of the new Stonewall Brigade Museum in Augusta County.
The new museum on Route 11 in Verona is packed with military history starting from the Revolutionary War through current deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Stonewall Brigade Museum is filled with artifacts from the battlefield, many donated by World War II veterans. Each item has a unique story behind it and many have historic surprises.
Retired Brigadier General Theodore G. Shuey, said, "They have brought us a number of artifacts from the D-Day landings. We have a helmet that has a strap in a hole in it that the soldier that gave it to us didn't even know it was there."
The grand opening was also a celebration of the 270th anniversary of the founding of the Augusta Militia, which became the Stonewall Brigade.
The museum's artifacts were housed in the Staunton Armory but were not accessible after 9/11 for security reasons. Visitors say they are happy they finally have a home for the public to see.
Retired U.S. Army First Lieutenant John Kessler Junior said, "I've got some very good things in there that was given to me from World War I and I'm suppose to have a Tommy helmet in there and a campaign hat, pistol legging britches, wrap leggings, and everything else. I'm looking to see where it's at."
The museum is free and open to the public Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Historians are on hand to give guided tours.
Organizers hope school groups will take advantage of it and come out to learn about military history.