GENEVA, Ill. (AP) — A former Marine is trying to locate, repair and catalog 100 years' worth of historical items at an American Legion Post in northern Illinois ahead of its centennial celebration.
Matthew Lutz, 34, said he's excited to find items from past battles, adding that he has already discovered a beret that belonged to a Geneva native who survived Pearl Harbor.
Some items at the Geneva American Legion Post 75 have mildewed because of exposure to moisture over the years.
Post Cmdr. Brian Noonan recruited Lutz several months ago to help with the project, the Daily Herald reported. Lutz added that he feels it's his responsibility to preserve the post's history.
"I feel it's my duty to do it," said Lutz, who served in the Marine Corps from 2004 to 2012. "Part of joining the post is to bring back some of the brotherhood I had in the service."
The goal is to complete the project by the post's charter anniversary on Aug. 14.
The Geneva History Center will host a lunch at the post on May 14 so community members and veterans can share their legion stories.
"They grew quickly and had 100% participation in 1928. Every veteran in Geneva was a member. They were the only legion in the state to have that," said Terry Emma, the museum's executive director. "This is the hub for old-town Geneva. The celebration is a big deal. Let's make it 100 more."
Lutz said he hopes more area veterans will get involved with the Geneva post.
"We need veterans in the community to come out and join the post and help us get going," he said.
Information from: Daily Herald, http://www.dailyherald.com