JOHNSTON, Iowa — The annual tradition of inviting the public out to Camp Dodge on Memorial Day has been re-started. After a number of years of being hosted by WHO radio’s morning team, the early morning open house has resumed.

 “What’s really cool about it, is to  see the families coming out here and there are lot of first time visitors, people that have never been out here it’s an amazing museum,” said Maxwell Schaeffer, morning host on WHO Radio.

The Gold Star Museum is known for its exhibits which tell the stories of Iowans who have served in various overseas conflicts or wars across the decades.

“The Iowa Gold Star Military Museum, at the historic Camp Dodge interprets the history of Iowa units, Iowa veterans, and the state’s role in our nations military past,” said Mike Vogt, Gold Star Museum Coordinator. “We got artifacts, images, documents that interpret the story of Iowans serving in the military,  and the military‘s impact on Iowa from my pre-statehood, Lewis and Clark days, up to the present day.”

The museum presents the various wars, even as far back as the Revolutionary War.

“So most people don’t think of Iowa in the Revolutionary War because we were state 80 years after it was over,” said Mike Rowley, of Sons of American Revolution. “There’s actually 42 revolutionary war veterans buried in the state of Iowa, most on the eastern part of Iowa.” 

The event even drew Iowa’s former Governor Terry Branstad.

Well Van and Bonnie started something great there’s a breakfast for veterans here at the Goldstar Museum and I was proud to come in my uniform as governor many times,” said Branstad. “I’m proud to be back here right now, I live in Johnston not too far from Camp Dodge so I’m glad to be here for this Memorial Day event.”

The Iowa Gold Star Museum is open normally on Tuesday through Saturday, and there is free admission. 

For more information on the Iowa Gold Star Museum, check their website: