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LA-area veterans input needed

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By Special to the Monitor

At 11:30 a.m. Jan. 19, the designers of the New Mexico Veterans Museum will conduct a meeting for Los Alamos-area veterans at the Los Alamos National Lab’s Otowi building, second floor cafeteria, side rooms A, B and C.
Retired Marine Corps Col. Joe Long, the museum planner, will present a multimedia description of the project, solicit ideas from the public and answer questions.  Attendance by a representative of the New Mexico Department of Veterans Services is also planned.  
This is one of 15 such visits that will be held throughout the state during the design process.
Through a statewide competition, Las Cruces was selected to be the museum’s host city. Gov. Richardson signed legislation creating the New Mexico Veterans Museum Division of the Department of Cultural Affairs in 2009. Utilizing appropriated funds, RMKM architects of Albuquerque was contracted to design a 30,000 square foot building that is the cornerstone of a campus of veteran-oriented facilities, including an artifact management facility, a Veterans Services Center, a military style parade grounds, a family picnic and playground area, walking trails and eventually, a memorial park.
The exhibit design firm of Gallagher and Associates of Silver Spring, Md. was hired to create an exhibit master plan. Working with the Departments of Veterans Services and Cultural Affairs, a team of experts in New Mexico history was brought together to determine the direction that the museum’s story should take.
The museum’s focus will be twofold: First, it will pay tribute to New Mexico’s veterans, past, present and future. Second, it will educate people of all ages about the service of New Mexicans throughout the world while it describes military installations and activities within the state, beginning as far back as the early 1500’s.
Los Alamos-area veterans are encouraged to be part of this important design process.