The Citizen Soldiers Education Foundation, Inc. was first organized and incorporated in 1994 as The 116th Infantry Regiment Foundation, Inc. Since then it has grown from the commitment of the three founders to a core of over 20 dedicated volunteers with a full-time Executive Director and part-time Museum Curator/Education Consultant.
We moved from a small storage space in the Staunton Virginia National Guard armory to a stand-alone facility for the museum and archives in Verona Virginia. The Foundation provides the only regional military history museum encompassing all eras of American military activity while focusing solely on the Citizen Soldier.
The Foundation’s VISION is currently being re-written by our board. They are working on a complimentary vision statement but It’s not complete yet. Our work on it so far is focusing on ensuring that the impact that America’s Citizen Soldiers have had on our world for the better are never forgotten.
Our MISSION is to Remember and Honor America’s Citizen Soldiers in War and Peace.
We will do this through Educational Programs and Events, Exhibits and Research. Its what we have always been doing and now we are saying clearly it is our purpose and work, while focusing on the need and desire to provide more educational programs that support our mission. The Foundation has established several areas of programs that it executes to fulfill its mission and achieve the vision.
We provide a free admission museum that collects, preserves and interprets objects and records of historic significance from the 116th Infantry Regiment and the greater Shenandoah Valley.
We conduct education programs by hosting and leading history tours to Battlefields and historic sites in Normandy, France and are working on plans that will add more tours. Our volunteers present and exhibit at State sponsored teacher workshops each year and we plan to host one local workshop each year. These highlight the teacher resources we have and how our history can be used to fulfill nearly all of VA SOLs in social studies. We also travel to or host community groups such as scouts and DAR/SAR chapters to tell the selfless service thru the history of our citizen soldiers.
Finally, we support an annual reunion conference and banquet for veterans, current members of the regiment, families and descendants, and their guests. We have hosted an annual Veterans 5K Race that is open to the community and provide facilities and resources for Post 116 of the 29th Division Association, Inc. to conduct its programs. These bring our generations of citizens soldiers and their families together every year with the larger community to help pass the heritage, history and legacy to others.
The museum, our education and outreach programs and our veteran support all contribute toward educating people about the history, heritage and legacy of America’s citizen soldiers.
The Foundation is a non-profit charitable organization under the provisions of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.