Southwest Florida Military Museum & Library
Museum Admission is always free to the public
The Southwest Florida Military Museum & Library was started by the Invest in America’s Veterans Foundation to honor the men and women of our military and to preserve military related artifacts. The museum started small, but as word spread and more donations came in, the organization was able to move in 2012 to the 34,000 square-foot facility where it’s located today. This family friendly, interactive environment features more than 60 fully dressed mannequins. The museum has grown to become the largest military museum in Southwest Florida and continues to grow thanks to our generous donors, volunteers, and local community.
The Southwest Florida Military Museum & Library is a nonprofit 501 (c) (3) institution. The museum’s mission is to collect, exhibit, preserve, interpret and archive United States military history from the 18th through the 21st century. The library is integrated within the museum and has a collection of historical references, rare books and documents, military texts, and periodicals for scholarly research and educational study. The combined entity is for the public benefit, to assist in educating and enhancing cultural heritage awareness within the community.
The Southwest Florida Military Museum & Library contains over 4,800 military nonfiction books, manuals and yearbooks. It houses an extensive collection of reading materials on various military subjects, including ships, airplanes and vehicles. There is a special Al Cook Memorial book and model airplane collection available as well. Al Cook was a Veteran and author of many WWII books. Other than books, a large collection of VHS tapes and DVD’s pertaining to military history are available. A 37-star flag is displayed on the back wall of the library.
Purple Heart Exhibit
Our featured exhibit focuses on Florida’s Purple Heart recipients. This exhibit highlights Florida’s 360 brave Purple Heart recipients who were killed in action since September 11, 2001. As a tribute, our exhibit was constructed to be a token of appreciation for the sacrifices they made defending our country.