National Infantry Museum Welcomes 2,500,000th Visitor
Jul 28, 2017
For Immediate Release
For more information, contact:
Director of Communications
Columbus, Georgia – July 28, 2017: The National Infantry Museum welcomed its 2,500,000th visitor on Friday, July 28.
The Whicher family – dad Larry, mom Natalie, daughter and son-in-law Christina and John Reinold and grandchildren Amy, Malachi and Chett – were greeted with the news as they entered the museum after their son’s graduation from basic training on Inouye Field. The family is from Russellville, Arkansas.
“We were completely shocked, but pleasantly surprised,” Larry Whicher told museum staff standing by for the celebration. “We’re so proud of Alex, and this is just the capstone to the whole event.”
Pvt. Alexander Riley Whicher, a member of Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 19th Infantry Regiment, had the honor of serving as one of two team leaders in the so-called Super Squad at graduation, which demonstrates the various roles of the members of an Infantry squad. After a brief visit with his family he’ll be heading to Airborne School and ultimately to Fort Bragg for Special Forces assessment and selection. While a lot of new Soldiers are glad to see training come to a close, Pvt. Whicher is ready for more. “I can’t wait for Airborne School,” he said. “I just love the challenge of it all.”
Photo: Larry and Natalie Whicher of Russellville, Arkansas pose with their son, Pvt. Alex Whicher, following his graduation from basic training.
Museum staff presented the family with a certificate, free passes to the Giant Screen Theater and DownRange Combat Simulators, a free lunch in the Fife and Drum restaurant and bags filled with National Infantry Museum souvenirs.
The museum opened in June 2009 and welcomed its 1,000,000th visitor in 2012. In August 2016, the museum was named the #1 Best Free Museum in USA Today’s Readers’ Choice Awards. The museum is the #1 attraction in Columbus on TripAdvisor with ratings that exceed most attractions statewide.
Photo to right: National Infantry Museum Foundation Director of Education and Volunteer Services Lora Warren and Museum Director Frank Hanner hand out gift bags to the Whicher family, (left to right) Christina, Chett, John, Larry, Amy, Malachi and Natalie.
The National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center, a 155-acre tract linking Columbus, Georgia, and the Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, is the first world-class site to pay tribute to the U.S. Army Infantryman and those who fight alongside him. Voted the #1 Free Museum in America in the 2016 USA Today Readers’ Choice Awards, the museum showcases the contributions of the Infantry Soldier in every war fought by the U.S. by offering immersive participation and engaging visitors in the unique experiences of the Infantry Soldier. The complex also includes a parade field, memorial walk of honor, authentic World War II Company Street, Vietnam Memorial Plaza, combat simulators, a full-service restaurant and a Giant Screen Theater. For more information, visit www.nationalinfantrymuseum.org.