Part of Mike Martin’s job at the General George Patton Museum of Leadership in Fort Knox is improving community outreach.
So when Martin met with Radcliff Mayor J.J. Duvall, a project to paint the decommissioned U.S. Army tank that sits adjacent to the former Chamber of Commerce building for the city was discussed.
“I’m kind of a fixer of stuff,” Martin said. “This was just something that we have the knowledge and the city of Radcliff has the stuff, we’re going to bring it together and get it done.”
The project is a couple years in the making as previous attempts have fallen through, Duvall said.
“Back in Sept. 2019, we had worked with some volunteers to paint the tank back then,” he said. “Scheduling conflicts didn’t allow it to happen.”
Duvall also said those volunteering to paint the tank in 2019 wanted to sandblast it first, which added to the expense and ultimately didn’t work out in the scheduling.
After holding on the project for a year because of the pandemic, Duvall said when he met with Martin, he wanted to lean on his expertise as part of the Patton Museum Foundation.
“Back when I met with Mike, I had brought it up to him to see if they have some people who could look at it,” he said. “Within a few weeks, he had put together a few people.”
It’s part of the job and something he thought volunteers for the foundation could get accomplished, Martin said.
“You can kind of say I am more of a bringer of connections,” he said. “We are able to bring together a lot of individuals that have the skills and expertise that will help make this project a reality.”
Over the years, the museum has relied on a volunteer force to maintain the static displays of military vehicles on the grounds at the museum, Martin said. He is relying on those volunteers for this project.
“The Patton museum has volunteers that have been working at that museum for 20 years or so,” he said. “Those individuals used to work on the tank collection when we used to have all the tanks.”
Then with the city providing the paint and the Radcliff Small Business Alliance providing the food, it is a project Martin and Duvall hope to get started in October, maybe early November.
“We hope to put a date on the calendar in the next couple weeks once we have all the key players,” he said.
Martin expects the project to be done on two separate days, one for cleaning and another for painting, he said.
He also hopes the project helps bring awareness of the Patton museum, it’s foundation and the upcoming fall campaign.
“Hopefully this will be another great community project that shows the Patton museum is a fixture of the community,” he said. “(The museum is) a part of the community and it’s a worthy cause to support the Patton Museum Foundation that keeps the museum doing all the great things it’s been doing.”
Gina Clear can be reached at 270-505-1418 or firstname.lastname@example.org.