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National Museum of Military Vehicles

Laura Ingraham To Feature Dubois’ National Museum Of Military Vehicles On Wednesday

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Staff reports

Fox Nation’s Laura Ingraham will visit with Dan Starks, Founder of the National Museum of Military Vehicles in Dubois, Wyoming on Wednesday’s episode of “Hidden Gems.”

Starks and Ingraham will discuss the history and mission of the Museum. “It is one of the most incredible museums I have ever seen,” Ingraham said.

 Appearing on the Jesse Waters program Tuesday evening, Ingraham promoted her upcoming special by calling the segment “an amazing story of a man who spent $120 million to build a military museum in the middle of nowhere, Wyoming that is one of the most incredible museums I’ve ever seen.”

The National Museum of Military Vehicles is a world-class military history museum which opened southeast of Dubois, WY, in August 2020.

Inside the 140,000 sq. foot Museum, visitors will find nearly 500 fully restored military vehicles, artillery pieces, naval vessels and aircraft dating from 1897 to the present with a current emphasis on the American experience in World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.

The focus of the museum is to tell the stories of how these vehicles were used and to remember the valor of service members who fought, and sometimes died, in them.

The museum also houses a large, historically significant, firearms collection and had its grand opening this past May.

Fox Nation is a subscription-based video on demand streaming service that “celebrates America’s people, stories and history.”

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Bill Sniffin: Military Museum Owner Can’t Help Thinking About Ukraine As He Prepares For Grand Opening Saturday

in News/Museum
20138

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By Bill Sniffin, publisher emeritus

Wyoming’s foremost military historian will host the grand opening of his massive 140,000 square foot military museum south of Dubois Saturday – but he can’t help thinking of the Russia invasion of Ukraine.

Dan Starks is proud of his new museum which might be the best museum in the world in detailing how World War II was won and how the Korean and Vietnam Wars were fought.

A crowd of 5,000 is expected for the grand opening of the National Museum of Military Vehicles. Admission is free on this day.

Perhaps the main message expressed at his museum is how American manufacturing ultimately made it impossible for any other country to triumph over the USA during World War II.

And yet his mind goes back to the war in Ukraine.

“Today when we look at that history of 75 years ago – of course, we should have intervened back then. Too bad we waited too long. Eventually that war took over everything,” he said.

“And now it’s another thing to have the exact same thing happening right in front of our faces,” he said. “It is instructive to remind people today that everything seems so difficult to find the best policy in the face of Putin. Well, just imagine the exact same question back then with Japan and Hitler?”

A huge focus of his museum is how American manufacturing was our secret weapon in winning World War II.  Now Starks worries that we have lost that edge. He said he has heard that we are sending 7,000 of our 21,000 supply of Stinger missiles to Ukraine. “We have no way to build any more of them. These were built in 2002.”

But this Saturday all eyes will be focused on the museum. Starks says there will be tank rides, a shooting gallery with really big guns, some ceremonial events, a Black Hawk helicopter, five food trucks plus Gov. Mark Gordon and the first lady Jennie.



The museum hosts the largest private collection of military vehicles in the world. Starks and his wife Cynthia have been collecting these for years. The way the equipment is displayed tells the amazing stories about World II and the Korean and Vietnam Wars, too.

Because of expected sizeable crowds at its grand opening this coming Saturday, the museum staff is asking attendees to consider using a shuttle bus public transportation option to and from the town of Dubois. The Wind River Transit Authority offers the free service.

Guests are encouraged to use shuttle buses that will run every 10 to 20 minutes throughout the day, beginning at 9 a.m. The shuttle buses will help ease expected overflow parking pressure at the Museum.

Pickup/drop-off points include the Dubois Town Park at 909 W Ramshorn, the parking lot next to the Country “Jackalope” Store at 404 W Ramshorn and the parking lot near the Dubois Medical Clinic at 5547 US Highway 26 on the east side of Dubois.

Depending on where guests board the bus, the free ride to the Museum will take between 10 to 25 minutes. More information is available at: nmmv.org/grand.



When it was first announced, the National Museum of Military Vehicles was viewed as one of Wyoming’s next great museums. Now that it is open, it is obviously much more than that. It is one of America’s great museums. 

The $100 million museum had to postpone its grand opening because of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. Founders Dan and Cynthia Starks have self-funded the project entirely on their own.

They are passionate about how the United States won World War II.  During one of the rare tours that he presents, Dan starts off his narrative by describing the state of the American military at the start of the war.

“We just lost most of our ships in Pearl Harbor,” he says. “Our Pacific army was in the Philippines. Pretty soon, the Japanese bombed the heck out of them and forced them into surrender. We lost 75,000 of our finest young men,” he said.

“Across the other ocean in North Africa, we joined the British in an attempt to attack the German General Rommel.  He routed us. He captured 183 American tanks and just destroyed our expeditionary force. We retreated over 50 miles to get away from the Germans, leaving all our equipment behind. It was a disaster.”

But from that lowly beginning, Starks said, America figured out a game plan to defeat enemies at two fronts, the Germans in Europe and the Japanese in the Pacific. How they did it is described in great detail in his new museum. 



Starks has huge murals detailing how America used its vast manufacturing capability to gradually provide enough tanks, trucks, airplanes, and other items to keep a 12 million-member Army supplied. Plus, the USA was supplying other countries like Russia, Britain, and Australia.  Examples of all this is on display at the museum.

Starks owns the world’s largest private collection of military vehicles. They are all pristine and restored to where they could be started and driven away. More than 500 tanks, trucks, jeeps, landing craft, and other vehicles are on display.  It is an amazing exhibit.

Starks, 67, who is not a veteran, has such a high degree of respect for those who served that he sees this project as his life work. And what a life it has been.

He worked 32 years at a medical equipment company in Minneapolis and was CEO before retiring in 2017. The company was doing $6 billion in revenue per year. He had 28,000 employees working on life-saving devices for the human body, with a specialty on heart catheters and other devices. 

“At one time, we figured our devices were saving a life every 3 seconds around the world,” he says. His company was acquired by Abbott Laboratories in 2017.

Dan and Cynthia’s life dream was to settle in Dubois and launch some project to recognize the service of America’s veterans.  

And boy, is this ever some project.

Using Richardson Construction of Cheyenne as a general contractor, the project finished this year on schedule.  Despite the gigantic size of the facility, (you can almost put three football fields inside its walls), Starks says it might be too small.  

The Starks’ daughter Alynne is the executive director of the facility.

Dan sees the facility having three components:

First, to honor the service and sacrifice of millions of Americans.

Second, preserve the history of what happened during these wars.

Third, provide an educational experience. 



The vast array of vehicles goes beyond the killing machines of tanks, artillery, and flamethrowers. It also includes dozens of the machines that made the wars winnable. 

Starks likes to discuss how a gigantic supply chain operation called the Red Ball Express helped secure the victories. This was the supply chain that seemed to provide endless amounts of food, ammo, and war machines as Allied troops marched toward victory.

He wanted to show how America was able to convert its massive manufacturing expertise to enable the Allies to fight two different wars in different parts of the world and win both in just three and a half years.

The new museum shows how the American ability to mass-produce cars and trucks was converted to produce tanks, jeeps, airplanes, and other war machines in record amounts that just wore down the enemy.  

“Germany built beautiful machines, but they did not understand mass production like Americans did. It was impossible for them to keep up when it came to replacing and resupplying their troops at key moments in World War II. We want to honor everyone who participated in this great victory. This museum showcases that effort by showing the machines that were built and how they were utilized,” he said.

Near the middle of the building’s interior is an amazing vault, unlike anything west of the Smithsonian. It holds his $10 million collection of historical weapons, including a rifle fired at Custer’s Last Stand and a pistol used by General Pershing in World War I. The collection includes 270 Winchester rifles. The vault has a safe door that would look just right at the national mint. Key item is the authenticated rifle that fired the first shot for the Americans in the Revolutionary War at Bunker Hill in Boston. 

It has various meeting rooms and the Chance Phelps Theatre, named for the brave Dubois Marine who died April 9, 2004, in Iraq. The movie Taking Chance was about that soldier.



There is large library with one of the world’s largest collections of manuals and other information about military vehicles. More information can be found at NMMV.org. All military veterans and active duty receive free admission. The museum is located eight miles south of Dubois on Highway 287/26.

Their plan for the museum has gone far beyond just a place to display vehicles. 

“We have displays that show the landing at Normandy, the surrenders in Germany and Japan, the Battle of the Bulge, and other great moments in our country’s military history,” Stark said.

Besides the main museum facility, the Starks built a large building just off Main Street in Dubois to hold many of their vehicles and to be a shop to keep them running. Cynthia has also built a bowling alley, arcade, and bakery in downtown Dubois.

“We love Wyoming. This is our great adventure,” Starks concluded. 

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More Than 18 Months After Opening, Natl Museum Of Military Vehicles Will Have Grand Opening Celebration

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

More than 18 months after opening its doors, the internationally acclaimed National Museum of Military Vehicles will finally have its grand opening celebration in late May.

Museum founder Dan Starks told Cowboy State Daily on Wednesday that it feels “great” to finally be at the point where the Dubois museum can have its grand opening celebration after opening its doors to the public in August 2020.

“We want this museum to have a positive impact on the country and on Americans,” he said. “I think this grand opening really represents our kickoff on our way to becoming a national destination hosting hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.”



The COVID-19 pandemic delayed the grand opening several times as scheduled dates for the event were pushed back repeatedly due to spikes in the illness and restrictions on large gatherings put in place to slow the spread of the illness from mid-2020 until early 2021.

The grand opening will be held at the museum, which is eight miles southeast of Dubois, at 10 a.m. on May 28.

The 140,000 square-foot museum boasts more than 500 vehicles in its collection and more than 200 historically significant firearms. The Starks spent $100 million of their own money to fund the museum.

The event will feature multiple guest speakers including Gov. Mark Gordon, retired Lt. Gen. Roger Schultz, who at one point served as director of the Army National Guard, and William “Doc” Schmitz, who served as commander-in-chief of the VFW from 2019 to 2020. Starks will be the final speaker.



After the speeches, visitors will be able to tour the museum at no charge. There will also be demonstrations of tanks and an armored vehicle-launched bridge, tank rides and presentations given by the VFW, the National Museum of the Army and the Army Historical Foundation.

The Wyoming National Guard will also be flying in a Blackhawk helicopter to use as a static display for the grand opening.

In addition, there will be a unique outdoor shooting range that will be open for use at no charge, although guests will have to pay for their own ammunition for the firearms provided by the museum, which will include machine guns.



When creating the museum, Starks said he and his wife wanted to ensure the museum was unique in its presentation of wars from throughout the United States’ history, rather than focusing on one war or certain branches of the military.

“We’re really inclusive,” he said. “We’re not honoring a group of veterans and their families. We’re honoring every veteran and their family through American history here. We can present lessons learned from our entire military history to pass along to young people and the next generations.”

Starks noted that despite a lack of marketing, the museum drew in more than 40,000 visitors in 2021, at least 10% to 20% of whom were veterans.



With this in mind, the Starks and their team at the museum have made sure that the grand opening will have something to offer for both repeat visitors and those who have not stopped at the museum in the past.

The Starks will be unveiling a 14,000 square-foot annex to its World War II gallery right before the grand opening, allowing for more equipment to be on display. Starks pointed to the museum’s Vietnam War experience as one of its most valuable parts.

“So many Vietnam veterans are still alive and even with the ones that have passed, many of their immediate families are still alive,” he said. “Our Vietnam veterans served in horrendous and difficult conditions and they didn’t receive the thank you, appreciation and recognition they deserve.

“This is a step to fill in what our veterans should have received when they came home,” he continued. “If they’re still alive, it’s not too late to embrace them and assure them their stories are still being recognized and will be preserved and passed along forever.”

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Nat’l Museum of Military Vehicles Opens Korean & Vietnam War Galleries

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By Bill Sniffin, Cowboy State Daily

DUBOIS –The National Museum of Military Vehicles (NMMV) announced Monday that its new Korean and Vietnam War Gallery will open Wednesday, May 26. 

The  40,000 square-foot, multi-million dollar gallery dedicated to the two conflicts uses immersive dioramas, interactive exhibits, oral histories, vehicles, and other artifacts to honor the millions of Americans who served in those two countries. 

“Our museum was voted one of the ten best new attractions in the U.S. in 2020 on the strength of our World War II Gallery,”  said Dan Starks, Founder and Chairman of NMMV. “We raise the bar in our Korean and Vietnam War Gallery by making the exhibits even more immersive and captivating.”

Starks said the Korean War sometimes is called The Forgotten War. “More than 5 million Americans served in the Korean War between June 1950 and July 1953,” he said. 

Approximately 140,000  were killed or wounded. 

He invited folks to visit the museum to find out why, along with how the American experience in the Korean War impacted American conduct during the Vietnam War.

“Over 3 million Americans served in the Vietnam War,” Starks said. “More than 200,000 were killed or wounded during their service. Many more died afterwards from their exposure to Agent Orange,”

More than 200,000 veterans still suffer from PTSD. 

Starks invited folks to come to the museum to learn more about the Vietnam War and about why veterans and their families deserve so much appreciation.

The National Museum of Military Vehicles (NMMV) south of Dubois, will also recognize another big event relating to the Vietnam War. 

A ceremony will be conducted May 15 on the 46th anniversary of the battle to recover the S.S. Mayaguez and its crew. This was the last battle of the Vietnam War and claimed the lives of 41 Americans, along with 50 wounded. 

“We will have Patriot Guards Riders escort a tribute truck to the museum, read the names of the 41 fallen Americans, and host a reunion of survivors of the battle,” Starks said.

NMMV is a privately funded, 140,000 square-foot facility located near Dubois. The museum is home to more than 450 military vehicles, the largest private collection in the world.

The museum is a 501(c) non-profit organization with a mission “to honor the service and sacrifice of veterans and their families, educate next generations on the history of American freedom, and share historic military vehicles.”

The museum’s World War II gallery opened to the public in August 2020. 

Connect with www.nmmv.org and on Facebook at facebook.com/NMMVWY.

Further information: Alynne Catron: Alynne@nmmv.org

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New Dubois Military Museum Named10th Best New Attraction In Country

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By Bill Sniffin, publisher

Voters from all over America have named the new National Museum of Military Vehicles the 10th best new attraction in the entire country.

Built and financed by Dan and Cynthia Starks, the colossal facility covers 140,000 square feet and cost over $100 million.  It salutes the men and women of the military who won World War II.  It also recognizes military folks from all branches and from other wars and conflicts, too.

It’s pretty amazing that the museum got so many votes since it never got to have a grand opening, is still under construction, and is located in the least populated state in the country in a town of less than 1,000 people.

Starks is looking forward to 2021 when they will also open a huge new 55,000-acre annex that features the Korean and Vietnam Wars.

“I think this will be the premier tribute to Vietnam veterans in the country when we get it open,” he said. 

They also are building a meeting area that can host over 500 people of special events.

The museum is located on Highway 287 south of Dubois and features over 450 restored military vehicles.

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National Museum of Military Vehicles: One of America’s Great Museums is Now Open in Dubois

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By Bill Sniffin, Publisher, Cowboy State Daily

DUBOIS – When it was first announced, the National Museum of Military Vehicles was viewed as one of Wyoming’s next great museums.  Now that it is open, it is obviously much more than that. It is one of America’s next great museums. 

Boasting 140,000 square feet of space, the $100 million project had to postpone its official opening on Memorial Day because of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.  Thus, it did a “soft” opening in August with more than 1,000 attending each of three days. 

Founders Dan and Cynthia Starks have self-funded the project entirely on their own.

They are passionate about how the United States won World War II.  During one of the rare tours that he presents, Dan starts off his tale by describing the state of the American military at the start of the war.

“We just lost most of our ships in Pearl Harbor,” he says. “Our Pacific army was in the Philippines.  Pretty soon, the Japanese bombed the heck out of them and forced them into surrender.  We lost 75,000 of our finest young men,” he said.

“Across the other ocean in North Africa, we joined the British in an attempt to attack the German General Rommel.  He routed us.  He captured 183 American tanks and just destroyed our expeditionary force. We retreated over 50 miles to get away from the Germans, leaving all our equipment behind. It was a disaster.”

But from that lowly beginning, Starks said, America figured out a game plan to defeat enemies at two fronts, the Germans in Europe and the Japanese in the Pacific. How they did it is described in great detail in his new museum. 

Starks has huge murals detailing how America used its vast manufacturing capability to gradually provide enough tanks, trucks, airplanes, and other items to keep a 12 million-member Army supplied. Plus, the USA was supplying other countries like Russia, Britain, and Australia.  Examples of all this is on display at the museum.

Starks owns the world’s largest collection of military vehicles. They are all pristine and restored to where they could be started and driven away. More than 430 tanks, trucks, jeeps, landing craft, and other vehicles are on display.  It is an amazing exhibit.

Starks, 66, who is not a veteran, has such a high degree of respect for those who served that he sees this project as his life work. And what a life it has been.

He worked 32 years at a medical equipment company in Minneapolis and was CEO before retiring in 2017. The company was doing $6 billion in revenue per year. He had 28,000 employees working on life-saving devices for the human body, with a specialty on heart catheters and other devices. 

“At one time, we figured our devices were saving a life every 3 seconds around the world,” he says. His company was acquired by Abbott Laboratories in 2017.

Dan and Cynthia’s life dream was to settle in Dubois and launch some project to recognize the service of America’s veterans.  

And boy, is this ever some project.

Using Richardson Construction of Cheyenne as a general contractor, the project finished this year on schedule.  Despite the gigantic size of the facility, (you can almost put three football fields inside its walls), Starks says it might be too small.  

The Starks’ daughter Alynne is the executive director of the facility.

Dan sees the facility having three components:

First, to honor the service and sacrifice of millions of Americans.

Second, preserve the history of what happened during these wars.

Third, provide an educational experience. 

The vast array of vehicles goes beyond the killing machines of tanks, artillery, and flamethrowers.  It also includes dozens of the machines that made the wars winnable. 

Starks likes to discuss how a gigantic supply chain operation called the Red Ball Express helped secure the victories. This was the supply chain that seemed to provide endless amounts of food, ammo, and war machines as Allied troops marched toward victory.

He wanted to show how America was able to convert its massive manufacturing expertise to enable the Allies to fight two different wars in different parts of the world and win both in just three and a half years.

The new museum shows how the American ability to mass-produce cars and trucks was converted to produce tanks, jeeps, airplanes, and other war machines in record amounts that just wore down the enemy.  

“Germany built beautiful machines, but they did not understand mass production like Americans did. It was impossible for them to keep up when it came to replacing and resupplying their troops at key moments in World War II. We want to honor everyone who participated in this great victory. This museum showcases that effort by showing the machines that were built and how they were utilized,” he said.

Near the middle of the building’s interior is an amazing vault, unlike anything west of the Smithsonian.  It holds his $10 million collection of historical weapons, including a rifle fired at Custer’s Last Stand and a pistol used by General Pershing in World War I. The collection includes 270 Winchester rifles.  The vault has a safe door that would look just right at the national mint. Key item is the authenticated rifle that fired the first shot for the Americans in the Revolutionary War at Bunker Hill in Boston. 

It has various meeting rooms and the Chance Phelps Theatre, named for the brave Dubois Marine who died April 9, 2004, in Iraq.  The movie Taking Chance was about that soldier.

There is large library with one of the world’s largest collections of manuals and other information about military vehicles. More information can be found at NMMV.org. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Masks are required. Admission is $15 for adults and seniors. Youths 8 to 17 are $10. Kids 7 and under are free. All military veterans and active duty receive free admission. The museum is located eight miles south of Dubois on Highway 287/26.

Their plan for the museum has gone far beyond just a place to display vehicles. 

“We have displays that show the landing at Normandy, the surrenders in Germany and Japan, the Battle of the Bulge, and other great moments in our country’s military history,” Stark said.

Under construction at the present time is a large new display area that will feature equipment and stories about American servicemen and women in the Korean Conflict and the Vietnam War. It will open in 2021.  Starks said a plan for a 535-seat auditorium for the complex is underway.

There are also over 100 tanks and other impressive war machines parked in rows in an outside enclosure next to the new building. His other machines are in downtown Dubois, on his ranches, and stored in Salt Lake City.

There is even a Russian-built MiG 21 parked in the field that was used in the Vietnam War against American soldiers. It is flyable.  

Besides the main museum facility, the Starks built a large building just off Main Street in Dubois to hold many of their vehicles and to be a shop to keep them running. Cynthia is also building a bowling alley, arcade, and bakery in downtown Dubois.

Nine years ago, their first home in Dubois was an old homestead. More recently they have purchased a 250-head cattle ranch. Recently they bought a third ranch, which now has 70 bison grazing on it. 

“We love Wyoming. This is our great adventure,” Starks concluded. 

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Legislature Salutes Starks Family For Opening Huge Museum Near Dubois

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By Bill Sniffin

Members of Wyoming’s Legislature have recognized the owner/operators of the National Museum of Military Vehicles for their contributions to the state’s tourism industry.

The Legislature, in an informal joint resolution, praised Dan And Cynthia Starks for their work to open the museum south of Dubois.

The resolution recognizes the Starks for creating a tourist attraction that recognizes veterans.

The ribbon cutting for the museum was held Aug. 7.

The project cost $100 million and was self-funded by Starks and his family. 

“The experience has been very gratifying,” Starks said. “We have had lots of tears, guests getting choked up, and lots of appreciation.”

He said: “We have 100 parking spaces in our lot and ran out of parking space!”

The 140,000 square foot complex holds more than 200 military vehicles with expansive exhibits which tell the stories of the military campaigns that featured these vehicles. 

Starks sees the facility having three components:

To honor the service and sacrifice of millions of Americans.

Preserve the history of what happened during these wars.

Provide an educational experience. 

The vast array of vehicles goes beyond the killing machines of tanks, artillery, and flamethrowers.  

It also includes dozens of the machines that made the wars winnable. 

Starks likes to discuss how the Red Ball Express helped secure the victories. 

This was the supply chain that seemed to provide endless amounts of food, ammo, and war machines as Allied troops marched toward victory.

He wants to show how America was able to convert its massive manufacturing expertise to enable the Allies to fight two different wars in different parts of the world and win both in just three and a half years.  

Near the middle of the building’s interior is an amazing vault, unlike anything west of the Smithsonian. 

It will hold his $10 million collection of historical weapons, including a rifle fired at Custer’s Last Stand and a pistol used by General Pershing in World War I. The collection includes 270 Winchester rifles. 

The vault has a safe door that would look just right at the national mint. The facility will have meeting rooms and members of the Wyoming legislature are convening there in October.

It also has the Chance Phelps Theatre, named for the brave Dubois Marine who died April 9, 2004 in Iraq.  The movie Taking Chance was about that soldier.There is a large library with one of the world’s largest collections of manuals and other information about military vehicles.Admission is $15 for adults and free for all veterans. Under 18 is $10. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week. It is located eight miles south of Dubois of U. S. Highways 287/26.

Face masks and social distancing are required of visitors. 

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Huge Crowd Attends Opening Of National Military Museum In Dubois

in News/Museum
5643

Posted by David Miller on Sunday, 9 August 2020

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By Bill Sniffin. Photos/Video by David Miller, Cynthia Starks, Neversweat Photography

Huge crowds attended the opening of the $100 million National Museum of Military Vehicles in Dubois this past weekend.

Holding what founder Dan Starks called a soft opening, large crowds visited the gigantic facility for free over the first three days it was open.

“The experience has been very gratifying,” Starks said. “We have had lots of tears, guests getting choked up, and lots of appreciation.”

“We have 100 parking spaces in our lot and ran out of parking space,” he said.

The 140,000 square foot complex — which was self-funded by Starks and his family — holds more than 200 military vehicles with expansive exhibits that tells the stories of the military campaigns that featured these vehicles.

Starks said the facility has three goals:

— To honor the service and sacrifice of millions of Americans.

— To preserve the history of what happened during these wars.

— To provide an educational experience.

The vast array of vehicles goes beyond the killing machines of tanks, artillery, and flamethrowers.  It also includes dozens of the machines that made the wars winnable.

Starks likes to discuss how the Red Ball Express helped secure the victories. This was the supply chain that seemed to provide endless amounts of food, ammo, and war machines as Allied troops marched toward victory.

He said he wanted to show how America was able to convert its massive manufacturing expertise to enable the Allies to fight two different wars in different parts of the world and win both in just three and a half years. 

Near the middle of the building’s interior is an amazing vault, unlike anything west of the Smithsonian. It will hold his $10 million collection of historical weapons, including a rifle fired at Custer’s Last Stand and a pistol used by General Pershing in World War I.

The collection includes 270 Winchester rifles. The vault has a safe door that would look just right at the national mint.

The facility will have meeting rooms and members of the Wyoming legislature are convening there in October.

It also has the Chance Phelps Theatre, named for the brave Dubois Marine who died April 9, 2004 in Iraq.  The movie Taking Chance was about that soldier.

There will be large library with one of the world’s largest collections of manuals and other information about military vehicles.

Admission is $15 for adults and free for all veterans. Under 18 is $10. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week. It is located eight miles south of Dubois of U. S. Highways 287/26.

Face masks and social distancing is required of visitors.

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Dubois’ $100 Million National Military Museum To Open On August 7

in News/Coronavirus/arts and culture/Business
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By Bill Sniffin, Cowboy State Daily

The gigantic new National Museum of Military Vehicles will finally open on Aug. 7.

The museum, located just south of Dubois, originally planned to open in May but was postponed because of the Coronavirus pandemic.

“We are opening the museum Friday, Aug. 7, at 10 a.m.,” founder Dan Starks said. “Admission will be free for the first three days. After that normal admission of $15 will be charged, except for veterans, who will get in free.” Under 18 is $10 admission with under 8 years old getting in for free.

“Face masks and social distancing is required so we can keep all of our older veterans safe,” he said. “We will still be working on finishing some of the exhibits but we have gotten tired of turning everyone away who wants to come inside. We are staffing up and training for the opening.”

The $100 million self-funded project has been a dream of Starks, who bought his first Wyoming property in 2011.

Construction on the new museum started in May of 2017. It is a 140,000 square foot facility, which is designed to hold 200 military vehicles.

But it is much more than a display of vehicles.



Starks is not a veteran but said he has such a high degree of respect for those who served, he sees this project as his life work.

He worked 32 years at a medical equipment company in Minneapolis and was CEO before retiring in 2017. The company was doing $6 billion in revenue per year. He had 28,000 employees working on life-saving devices for the human body, specializing in heart catheters and other devices.

“At one time, we figured our devices were saving a life every three seconds around the world,” he says.

His company was acquired by Abbott Laboratories in 2017. Their web site shows Starks owns over $600 million in stock in the big international company and serves on its board.

The life dream of Dan and his wife Cynthia was to settle in Dubois and do some project to recognize the service of America’s veterans.  

And boy, is this ever some project.

Using Richardson Construction of Cheyenne as a general contractor, the project has hummed along on schedule.  And although the gigantic size of the facility, (you can almost put three football fields inside its walls), Starks now worries that it might be too small. 

They own more than 400 of the most pristine historical vehicles from World War II and other conflicts. He thinks he might only get 200 of them inside the walls. It is assumed to be the largest and best private collection in the world.  

The Starks’ daughter Alynne is the executive director of the facility. Admission will be $15 for adults and $10 for visitors under 18.  Veterans will be admitted for free. The museum will employ 20 people. 

Their plan for the museum has gone far beyond just a place to display vehicles. “We want to create displays that show the landing at Normandy, the surrenders in Germany and Japan, the Battle of the Bulge, and other great moments in our country’s military history,” he says. 

Dan sees the facility having three components:

  • To honor the service and sacrifice of millions of Americans.
  • Preserve the history of what happened during these wars.
  • Provide an educational experience. 

The vast array of vehicles goes beyond the killing machines of tanks, artillery, and flamethrowers.  It also includes dozens of the machines that made the wars winnable. 

Starks likes to discuss how the Red Ball Express helped secure the victories. This was the supply chain that seemed to provide endless amounts of food, ammo, and war machines as Allied troops marched toward victory.

He wants to show how America was able to convert its massive manufacturing expertise to enable the Allies to fight two different wars in different parts of the world and win both in just three and a half years.  

The new museum will show how the American ability to mass-produce cars and trucks was converted to produce tanks, jeeps, airplanes, and other war machines in record amounts that just wore down the enemy.  

“Germany built beautiful machines, but they did not understand mass production like Americans did. It was impossible for them to keep up when it came to replacing and resupplying their troops at key moments in World War II. We want to honor everyone who participated in this great victory. This museum will showcase that effort but showing the machines that were built and how they were utilized,” he said. 

Near the middle of the building’s interior is an amazing vault, unlike anything west of the Smithsonian. It will hold his $10 million collection of historical weapons, including a rifle fired at Custer’s Last Stand and a pistol used by General Pershing in World War I.

The collection includes 270 Winchester rifles. The vault has a safe door that would look just right at the national mint. 

The facility will have meeting rooms and members of the Wyoming legislature are convening there in October.

It also has the Chance Phelps Theatre, named for the brave Dubois Marine who died April 9, 2004 in Iraq.  The movie Taking Chance was about that soldier.

There will be large library with one of the world’s largest collections of manuals and other information about military vehicles.

There is even a Russian-built MiG 21 that was used in the Vietnam War against American soldiers. It is flyable.  

Besides the main museum facility, the Starks built a large building just off Main Street in Dubois to hold many of their vehicles and to be a shop to keep them running. 

Eight years ago, their first home in Dubois was an old homestead. More recently they have purchased a 250-head cattle ranch. Recently they bought a third ranch, which now has 64 bison grazing on it. 

“We love Dubois and we love Wyoming. This is our great adventure,” Starks concluded. 

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Massive military museum under construction near Dubois

in News/Community/Bill Sniffin
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Dan Starks, National Museum of Military Vehicles founder, explains how the oil and gas industry helped the American military build a better tank.

By Bill Sniffin, Cowboy State Daily

Wyoming’s next great museum is under construction and will open next May.

The National Museum of Military Vehicles is a massive facility located just south of Dubois in Fremont County.

The $100 million self-funded museum has been a dream of Dan Starks, who bought his first Wyoming property in 2011. Construction on the new museum started in May of 2017. It is a 140,000 square-foot facility designed to hold 150 military vehicles.

But it is much more than a display of vehicles.

Starks, 65, is not a veteran but has such a high degree of respect for those who served that he sees this project as his life’s work. And what a life it has been.

He worked 32 years at a medical equipment company in Minneapolis, serving as CEO before retiring in 2017. The company made $6 billion per year and had 28,000 employees working on life-saving devices, specializing on heart catheters and other devices. 

“At one time, we figured our devices were saving a life every three seconds around the world,” he says.

His company was acquired by Abbott Laboratories in 2017. Their web site shows Starks owns over $600 million in stock in the big international company and serves on its board.

Dan and his wife Cynthia’s life’s dream was to settle in Dubois and launch some project to recognize the service of America’s veterans. And boy, is this ever some project.

Despite the gigantic size of the facility, (you can almost put three football fields inside its walls), Starks now worries that it might be too small.  The couple owns more than 400 of pristine historic vehicles from World War II and other conflicts, presumed to be the largest and best private collection in the world.Starks thinks he might only get 150 of them inside the walls.

The Starks’ daughter Alynne is the executive director of the facility.Their plan for the museum has gone far beyond just a place to display vehicles. “We want to create displays that show the landing at Normandy, the surrenders in Germany and Japan, the Battle of the Bulge, and other great moments in our country’s military history,” Starks says.

Starks sees the facility having three components:

  • First, to honor the service and sacrifice of millions of Americans;
  • Second, preserve the history of what happened during these wars, and
  • Third, provide an educational experience.

The vast array of vehicles goes beyond the killing machines of tanks, artillery, and flamethrowers. It also includes dozens of the machines that made the wars winnable.

Starks likes to discuss how the “Red Ball Express” helped secure the victories. This was the truck-based supply chain that seemed to provide endless amounts of food, ammo, and war machines as Allied troops marched toward victory.

He wants to show how America was able to convert its massive manufacturing expertise to enable the Allies to fight two different wars in different parts of the world and win both in just three and one-half years. The new museum will show how the American ability to mass-produce cars and trucks was converted to produce tanks, jeeps, airplanes, and other war machines in record amounts that just wore down the enemy. 

“Germany built beautiful machines, but they did not understand mass production like Americans did,” Starks said. “It was impossible for them to keep up when it came to replacing and resupplying their troops at key moments in World War II. We want to honor everyone who participated in this great victory. This museum will showcase that effort but showing the machines that were built and how they were utilized.”

Dan and Alynne Starks led a handful of people on a tour of the facility Aug. 1, including Lander radio station owner Joe Kenney, Fremont County Commissioner Mike Jones and retired Lander business leader Tony McRae.

Kenney said he was impressed that Starks wants no grants or government money to help with the project.  

“He knows what he wants and he is going to get it,” he said. “Amazing.”

Jones said he was overwhelmed by Starks’ passion. 

“His enthusiasm is contagious,” he said. “This is going to be game-changer for tourism in Fremont County and Wyoming.”

McRae said he did not know what to expect. 

“I was just blown away by the scale of this project,” he said. “I can’t wait to see it after it opens.”

Alynne, as executive director, said the project will probably employ about 15 people.  They have not decided on what admission will cost but one thing is sure: “Veterans will get in free!  My dad insists on that,” she said.

Near the middle of the building’s interior is an amazing vault that will hold Starks’ $10 million collection of historic weapons, including a rifle fired at Custer’s Last Stand and a pistol used by General Pershing in World War I. The collection also includes 270 Winchester rifles.  The facility will have meeting rooms and members of the Wyoming Legislature are convening there in October.It also has the Chance Phelps Theatre, named for the brave Dubois Marine who died April 9, 2004, in Iraq.  The movie “Taking Chance”was about that soldier.

There will also be a large library with one of the world’s largest collections of manuals and other information about military vehicles.

There are over 100 tanks and other impressive war machines parked in row after row in a big field next to the new building. There is even a Russian-built MiG 21 parked in the field that was used in the Viet Nam War against American soldiers. It is flyable. Starks’ other machines are in downtown Dubois, on his ranches and stored in Salt Lake City. Besides the main museum facility, the Starks built a large building just off Main Street in Dubois to hold many of their vehicles and a shop to keep them running.

Eight years ago, their first home in Dubois was an old homestead. Then, they purchased a 250-head cattle ranch and recently they bought a third ranch, which now has 36 bison grazing on it.

“We love Dubois and we love Wyoming. This is our great adventure,” Starks said.

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