Antique weapons, toy combat vehicles and story after story of bravery, sacrifice and heroism dare to inspire and awe as history leaps through a glass display case at the new Army National Guard Readiness Center in Windsor.
Available for the public viewing, the $10 million center opened Oct. 13 and is home base for 130 servicemen and women training to be on the front lines in times of local and national tragedy.
But Marge Straube with the Windsor-Severance Historical Preservation Committee said the center represents much more than just training, safety and security — it represents a historical glimpse into the rich history of Windsor’s armed forces.
“You’ll find so many interesting tidbits if you’ll just check it out,” she said.
Throughout the 30,000-square-foot complex, historical highlights are interspersed between classrooms and training centers. Most notably, walking through the main entrance facing Great Western Drive, photographs and artifacts immediately welcome visitors, piquing curiosities.
Put another way, it’s like being in a museum.
Straube and the historical preservation committee were instrumental in getting the historical artifacts to their current homes. Pooling historical resources from across the region, she said it was crucial not to forget how many Windsorites have served in years past.
The National Guard has been prominent in relief efforts after the 1976 Thompson Canyon Flood in Loveland and, more recently, the devastating tornado that leveled parts of Windsor in 2008.
Having items from the time — some dating back to World War I — next to historical recounts and informational placards, Straube said really tells the rich story of Windsor’s military connection.
“To me, it says that even though we’re in the middle of America, we have played as much a part as any other little part in the United States,” she said. “Every little town contributed so much to where America got itself.”
The readiness center and historical displays are open to the public free of charge from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.
“You will be amazed by all the people in this area who have served,“ Straube said.