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Military museum in Berks gets construction help from team of volunteers

A team of volunteers from a local store has been working to build a much needed storage shed for a military history museum in Berks County that continues to grow.

The General Carl Spaatz National USAAF (United States Army Air Forces) Museum in Boyertown is a World War II experience-based attraction.

The museum at 10 General Spaatz Ave. has hosted thousands of visitors since it opened in 2021, including many student groups and veterans.

It has also continued to expand its collection of donated military artifacts, uniforms and other memorabilia for exhibits, said Keith Seiwell, a retired Marine colonel and museum founder.

To store its abundance of exhibit support materials — such as tables and scenery — the museum needed a large storage building.

Already busy managing the facility, Seiwell didn’t have time to build it himself.

So knowing that Lowe’s encourages employees to volunteer for improvement projects in their communities, Seiwell contacted the Pottstown Lowe’s store seeking help.

Workers at the store agreed to pitch in, and since then a half-dozen of them have spent six weekend days at the Boyertown site, and have nearly completed the structure.

They hope to have it finished in March, said Mike Fothergill, a Lowe’s manager and leader of the volunteer team.

Other team members are Shaun Freimann, Colin Flemming, David Brey, John Weerasinghe and Ashton Marquart.

“They came to the rescue,” Seiwell said, describing how in February the team braved cold temps, snow and rain to get work done.

The project required their physical labor and their expertise, he said.

Fothergill said several of the volunteers are veterans, including himself, having served 20 years in the Navy. They all were impressed with the museum, he said, and happy to help it continue its mission of educating the public.

The museum is dedicated to Gen. Carl A. Spaatz, a Boyertown native who was a renowned World War I and World War II veteran and was the first chief of staff of the Air Force.

“Once we saw the museum, we knew it would be a great thing to help the museum and the community as a whole,” Fothergill said.

Source: Berkshire mont

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