Services & Professionals
Renovations continue at the Military Museum & Library
The Southwest Florida Military Museum & Library started off small; in 2009, it was located in a cozy storefront on Del Prado Avenue. In 2012, it relocated to its current 34,000-square-foot facility on Leonard Street, and it has been adding on ever since. Cape Coral is a Purple Heart city, meaning it formally recognizes the sacrifices made by men and women killed or wounded in combat. The Southwest Florida Military Museum & Library is a key component in that recognition.
The idea is to connect the community, create more camaraderie with the local veterans and help build awareness.
Current renovations, scheduled for completion this summer, include creation of a full-sized kitchen that offers breakfast and lunch for both the public and local veterans, as well as catering services, according to Ralph Santillo, the museum’s founder, CEO and chairman of the board.
“On Tuesdays, lunch is free for veterans,” adds Santillo, who says that they often have 200 local veterans of all ages, including those who fought in World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam War and some of the more recent wars such as Afghanistan.
In addition to enlarging the kitchen, the current renovation project includes the ballroom, where formal dances, weddings and other events take place.
The expansion also includes creating nearby affordable housing for veterans and senior citizens.
“Since the new housing is just steps away, the residents will be able to stop by the museum and enjoy breakfast and lunch,” says Santillo.