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Collector of military memorabilia wants to open ‘National War Museum of the Rockies’

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DENVER -- Barry Hildebrandt is a student of U.S. history.

“This is a World War II Navy nurse’s uniform Lieutenant Second Grade," he said.

He started collecting when he was 6 years old.

“You’re actually holding something that somebody wore many years prior," he said.

It doesn’t take long to see the man loves United States military history. He proudly holds up an old leather flight jacket.

“It’s an A-2 flight jacket that was worn by Captain Gambel. He belonged to the ninth Army Air Force," he said.

But with more than 200,000 items packed in his home’s basement, including uniforms, helmets, personal items and memorabilia, what he needs is simple. He needs a museum.

Hildebrandt has a 503 (c)(3) designation and has a name for his museum: The National War Museum of the Rockies.

All he needs now is a building.

“I thought with having some of this stuff out with stories behind them and having the different changes of uniform through history would be fascinating to a lot of people," he said.

Hildenbrant said history is important because if you don’t learn the truth about it, you’re going to repeat it.

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