G.I. Joe's reopens at new location
Kinston mayor Don Hardy and G.I. Joe’s director Eric Cantu prepare to cut the ribbon for the reopening of the museum at its new location. Photo by Catherine Hardee / Neuse News
Mother Nature did her worst, but a museum honoring American veterans is finally open again in Kinston.
G.I. Joe’s Military Museum celebrated its reopening at its new location Thursday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Local officials and business leaders were on hand for the event, which honored the many veterans present and recognized the difficulties that Hurricane Florence presented in getting the new location ready.
After beginning the move from the longtime location on Herritage Street, the museum suffered a setback when the new location just south of Skinner’s Bypass on Hwy 11/55 in Kinston was flooded. Kinston/Lenoir County Chamber of Commerce Interim President Brenda Canup welcomed attendees, and complimented museum director Eric Cantu on the new facility and the hard work that went into repairing flood damage and getting exhibits ready for opening.
Cantu spoke to the crowd on the uniqueness of G. I. Joe’s, which, in addition to serving as a museum, is also a place where veterans and their families can gather at any time to connect with others who understand what they have gone through, and can be put in touch with support organizations.
Kinston mayor Don Hardy, a Navy veteran, helped Cantu wield the scissors for the cutting of the ribbon. Hardy and Cantu were flanked by the dozens of veterans who attended the ceremony. Hardy said that as a vet, it was an honor to represent the city at the event.
“G. I. Joe’s is a big deal,” the mayor said. “it’s a centerpiece of military history for Kinston and Lenoir County … and a place where veterans can come and enjoy themselves and be among other veterans.”
Cantu said having so many people come out in support of the museum was encouraging.
“It’s given me a great faith in the community to know that the veterans are being supported, and I knew that they would, but to see this many people come out and show solidarity in that purpose means a great deal,” he said.
G.I. Joe’s is open Wednesday through Saturday, 9 a.m..- 4 p.m. at its new location, 1165 B Hwy 11/55 South in Kinston.