As our Veterans pass on it is important to preserve the photos, documents, letters, uniforms, insignia, personal items, war souvenirs and other artifacts for future generations to see and learn about what life was like for these Soldiers. Every item has a story to tell. With artifacts now almost 80 years old proper care and preservation of these items is essential if they are going to last. Veterans and family members have several options:
The best way to preserve artifacts is to donate the artifacts to a reputable museum or the 509th Parachute Infantry Association. This is highly recommended in that it will be properly preserved and will remain with the 509th to be enjoyed by future generations of 509th Soldiers. Once artifacts are received by the 509th PIA they will be cataloged. Based on the artifact and its history it will be sent to be displayed at either of the three following locations, the 509th PIA Museum in Punta Gorda, Florida; Headquarters 1st Battalion 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment at Fort Polk, Louisiana; or Headquarters 3rd Battalion 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment at Fort Richardson, Alaska. Help the 509th Parachute Infantry Association preserve the history of this great unit!
FINALLY A WARNING!
While there are several honest collectors, reenactors, living historians, researchers, book writers and other people out there who make contact with Veterans to thank them and learn more about what it was like to serve in the 509th, there are also unfortunately several dishonest collectors, reenactors, living historians, researchers, book writers and other people out there who will befriend a Veteran or family with the eventual goal of obtaining rare artifacts. They will promise anything to obtain these artifacts even offer to buy them but will turn around and sell the item for a huge profit. Even worse there are a few cases in which they will visit a Veteran to check out what artifacts they have and will return at some point in the future and steal them with other valuables. Also be wary of people who identify with a museum. Anyone can establish a museum or non-profit organization. If you are thinking about donating to a museum do some research and ensure that it is a reputable museum and that the person is actually a representative of the museum authorized to receive artifacts.
If you have any questions about the above information please contact the webmaster at the e-mail below.
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