ZION, Ill. -- Just feet from the Wisconsin border and the Tri-State sits a rather unassuming looking warehouse with some pretty amazing contents.
The Russell Military Museum is 10 acres of military history with roughly 400 vehicles, planes, helicopters and motorcycles from just about every U.S. involved conflict.
Kyle Sonday is the museum’s vice president and virtuoso.
“My grandfather was an armor during WWII,” he says. “He started a gun shop in Chicago in Berwyn. My father grew up in the gun shop gun smithing and he told his dad, ‘Someday I’m going to have more and bigger guns than you, Dad.’
Winding through the years of history will take you past uniforms and pictures of the vehicles in action, from jeeps to the M5 Stewart Tank, deemed inefficient by the military.
The place is full of historic pieces and stories about all the people who used them.
And outside, kids big and small can actually get in and on a handful of vehicles, walk past about a dozen Huey Helicopters and one of the largest private Sherman Tank collections. And that’s before you get to the really big pieces.
In the future Sonday hopes to create massive dioramas from different wars using the actual vehicles.
He says it is all a tribute to sacrifice.
“(It is about) preserving military history and let people know about the past honor the veterans honor our country honor our military let people see the size of this stuff the sacrifice what went into making this country great.”
Russell Military Museum
43363 N us Hwy 41
Zion, IL 60099
April 1st – Sept. 1st
open 7 days a week
$10 – adults
$5 – kids
More information: http://www.russellmilitarymuseum.com/