It has always been clear that the exhibition at Heverlee would be of a temporary nature. After having explored all possible solutions to find a new home for my collection before it would be boxed up again for the next 20 years or so, I finally got an offer I couldn't refuse.
During Joseph Nilo's visit on 24th February 2011, members of the newly created Belgian Royal Army Museum Detachment from Bastogne joined the tour.
Their commander, Commandant Johnny Bona, an avid WWII militaria collector himself, came up with the idea of moving the expo to a possible permanent location.
The next day we were off to Bastogne! They showed me the rooms they had available and asked if that would fit the purpose - and it sure does!
Next step was to obtain official approval from the Commanding General to set up the expo. Needless to say that having Cdt Bona's support was of invaluable help!
The plan was to leave the expo at Heverlee open until Saturday, 2 July 2011 and then to start moving everything to its new home. First, visitors were able to enjoy the Desert Storm 20th Anniversary Expo starting on Saturday, 10th December 2011, to coincide with the annual Battle of the Bulge Commemorations.
In the years to come we will be developing and plan to set up an overview exhibition on the major U.S. Army deployments between 1945 and 1995. The expo will cover the Cold War, The Korean War, Operation Power Pack in the Dominican Republic, Operations in Vietnam, Operation Urgent Fury in Grenada, Operation Just Cause in Panama, Operations Desert Shield/Storm as well as Operations Restore Hope/UNOSOM in Somalia and Uphold Democracy in Haiti.
I am absolutely thrilled and extremely grateful for the help and support that lead up to the move to such a historical place. My collection will continue to live on in the actual building where Brigadier General McAuliffe said the famous word "NUTS" on 22 December 1944 when asked by the Germans to surrender.