Community funding integral to Jacksonville’s upcoming Museum of the Marine

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – There’s an opportunity for you to be an integral part in fundraising for the upcoming Museum of the Marine in Jacksonville.

It also honors Camp Lejeune’s wounded warriors.

“They don’t think about it unless it directly affects them, ya know,” said Marine Dustin Miller. For him, art is a type of therapy. “Art is an escape. I have a lot going on in my head and it’s easier to draw. I’m not good with words and have a hard time opening up to people.”

Miller was wounded by a mortar in Afghanistan in 2011. His art is on display at the community arts center as a part of a larger series of artwork by 30 wounded warriors.

“The wonderful thing is they are getting healed by it,” said David Brown, Museum of the Marine Director. “It enables them to express their inner feelings that they’ve had cooped up.”

The artwork will be auctioned off. Part of the money raised will go to funding Jacksonville’s upcoming Museum of the Marine.

Much of the artwork is powerful, depicting strong emotions felt during and after war.

“Most civilians don’t notice what happens unless it happens to their sons or daughters,” explained Miller. “I still deal with the things I went through every night and day. I hope that those who come to this exhibit take note of that and respect it.”

Several of the art pieces, including Miller’s were chosen to receive awards.

Brown said those pieces will be hung in the state capitol rotunda, “What we’re trying to do is educate the legislators about the fact that we’re gonna have a great museum and if they’re inclined to sponsor us or help us out that would be wonderful.”

The silent auction begins Friday and runs through August 21.

The museum needs between $25 and 28 million to complete the project.

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