LAKELAND, Florida — Aerospace Discovery at the Florida Air Museum at Lakeland Linder International Airport (KLAL) has joined with museums nationwide in participating in the 10th summer of Blue Star Museums, a program that provides free admission to active-duty military personnel and their families.
The 2019 program began May 18, Armed Forces Day, and runs through Monday, Sept. 2, Labor Day. Military can find a list of participating museums at arts.gov/bluestarmuseums.
Blue Star Museums is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in collaboration with Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 2,000 museums nationwide. First Lady of the United States, Melania Trump, and Second Lady of the United States, Karen Pence, are honorary co-chairs of Blue Star Museums 2019.
“The aviation community has very strong military ties. Many people know us for our annual SUN ‘n FUN Fly-In and attend because of our large warbird displays and military demonstrations. Aerospace Discovery showcases a myriad of displays, including military aircraft like the F-14 Tomcat and a traveling exhibit, “NOAA: Where Science Meets Service,” which will only be here through September. We are proud to support the Blue Star Museum program for the second year and encourage military families to come see what our museum has to offer year round,” says John “Lites” Leenhouts, CEO/President SUN ‘n FUN Fly-In, who is also a retired naval aviator.
“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to celebrate the 10th summer of collaborating with Blue Star Families, Department of Defense, and especially the more than 2,000 museums across our nation that make this program possible,” said Mary Anne Carter, acting chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. “Organizations such as Aerospace Discovery at the Florida Air Museum are providing wonderful opportunities for military families to share a memorable experience together this summer.”
This year’s participating organizations include fine art, science, history, and children’s museums, as well as zoos, aquariums, gardens, and more.
“We’ve seen the tremendous impact the Blue Star Museums program brings to our military families, and we’re thrilled to be celebrating a decade of support,” said Kathy Roth-Douquet, chief executive officer of Blue Star Families. “Not only are museums fun to explore but are also great for making memories and strengthening military families as a whole.”
The free admission program is available for those currently serving in the United States Military — Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard as well as members of the Reserves, National Guard, U.S. Public Health Commissioned Corps, NOAA Commissioned Corps, and up to five family members. Qualified members must show a Geneva Convention common access card (CAC), DD Form 1173 ID card (dependent ID), or a DD Form 1173-1 ID card for entrance into a participating Blue Star Museum.