Jacksonville museum puts visitors in shoes of troops

By Lisa Burnett Originally Published June 30, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
Updated June 28, 2013 at 10:39 a.m.
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Nick Hillemann

DannaKay Duggar, director of the Jacksonville Museum of Military History, is shown with one of the newest additions to the displays, a Titan II missile-launch control panel. The museum will host the U.S. Army Adventure simulators on Friday.

— On the day after Independence Day, visitors to the Jacksonville Museum of Military History can feel what it’s really like to fight on the front lines of war.

The museum will have U.S. Army Adventure simulators on hand for residents to get a feel for what active-duty members of the military go through on a daily basis.

From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, U.S. Army Adventure Semi 1, featuring four simulators, will be at the museum to provide these experiences, free of charge, to visitors.

DannaKay Duggar, director of the Jacksonville Museum of Military History, said she is excited about having the simulators available to the public.

“The four simulators will be here all day,” Duggar said. These simulators will allow museum visitors to have the experience of “flying” an Apache Helicopter, “driving” an M1A1 Abrams Tank and acting as a member of a bomb squad by “operating” the Electronic Ordinance Disposal Robotic Arm.

“Visitors will know what it’s like to retrieve a bomb,” Duggar said. “We want people to have fun.”

The Army’s simulators might encourage museum visitors to enlist, Duggar said.

“The military fears that it may have trouble getting quality recruits in the future,” Duggar said.

The museum has never offered the simulators before, and Duggar said the simulations put people into situations they’ve never experienced.

“People can expect to experience something different,” Duggar said. “You can watch military operations on TV, but this is different. You can feel what it’s like to be in the military.”

Museum admission will be free on Friday, Duggar said.

Visitors can visit the museum and participate in the use of the simulators on that day for free.

“We’re not sure if [the simulators] will be an annual event just yet,” Duggar said.

For more information about the museum and the U.S. Army Adventure Semi 1, visit www.jaxmilitarymuseum.org.

Staff writer Lisa Burnett can be reached at (501) 244-4307 or lburnett@arkansasonline.com.

Online News Editor Lisa Burnett can be reached at lburnett@arkansasonline.com.

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