Arizona Military Museum, a hidden gem

Arizona Military Museum, a hidden gem

Young boy sits in a Huey cockpit
A young patron of the Arizona Military Museum sits inside the cockpit of a Bell UH-1M Iroquois "Huey" at Papago Park Military Reservation in Phoenix. (National Guard Photo by Army Spc. Wes Parrell)

PHOENIX -- As schools let out for summer, a challenge that many face is finding activities that entertain and educate our families. Many people are unaware of a hidden treasure located at Papago Park Military Reservation that is rich with military culture and historical significance to Arizona.

The Arizona Military Museum was established in 1981 in an original raw adobe building that was constructed in 1936 to serve as a National Guard arsenal. In World War II, it was converted into a maintenance shop for a German prisoner of war compound.

The museum is currently operated by the Arizona National Guard Historical Society, a non-profit corporation. It contains a chronological display of military activities related to Arizona starting with the Spanish Conquistadors and continuing through operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. It also houses a military library which contains an extensive collection of books, documents, and maps of military actions all over the world.

"We try to balance the preservation of history with the need to educate," said Mike Snozek, Historical Society board member and volunteer. "We want to remain accessible to everyone from school age children to veterans revisiting the past."

The museum is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 4p.m. and is also available for special group tours by appointment.

There is no entry fee for the museum but donations are welcome. With the unique displays and a friendly staff of volunteers, visitors cannot help but to leave with a sense of patriotism and Arizona Pride.

Arizona Military Museum
5636 E. McDowell Rd., Phoenix AZ 85008-3495.
Phone: 602-267-2676
Alternate Phone: 602-253-2676
Fax: 602-253-3342
Open Saturday & Sunday 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. or by appointment