Vision class members tour the WWII-Pacific gallery

On a mission to learn about all aspects of Transylvania County, VISION Transylvania class members, in their nine-month program, tour businesses, governments, and non-profits. They get to know individual leaders, government officials, and volunteers of the county’s organizations.

Members of the 2023-2024 class toured the Veterans History Museum on March 14, spending time in each of eight galleries with a knowledgeable pathfinder (docent), many of whom are veterans themselves.

Pathfinder and USAF veteran Jim Schenfield showed Vision members the exhibit dedicated to the Sea Services.

In small groups they saw the artifacts from WWI, WWII-Europe, WWII-Pacific, Korean War, Cold War, Vietnam War, and Global War on Terror. In addition, they learned the history of the U.S. Air Force in a gallery dedicated to this branch of our military. In the museum’s Sea Services exhibit, “VISION-eers” could experience the close quarters of sailors who slept in “three-high” bunks on ships in WWII and peruse typical contents of sailors’ lockers.

vision class with pathfinder

Pathfinder and USAF veteran Jim Schenfield (far right)

VISION class members were reminded of the important service of women over the decades with the exhibit honoring Women in the Military (in the background above). It displays pictures of several dozen women, many from Transylvania County, who served from WWII to the current time, as well as WWII women’s uniforms. Brevard Mayor Copelof’s US Navy uniform is on display.

In the Jeep room, they were greeted by a vignette of an Army post office “somewhere in Europe”, where soldiers were arriving to see if they had received letters from home.

vision class in willy jeep exhibit
vision class look at artifacts in war on terror

Vision members look at the artifacts in the War on Terror gallery.

vision class in special exhibits

The 1942 Harley-Davidson used in WWII (at left) is a favorite of many visitors.

Some “VISION-eers” tried on the uniforms from their choice of service branches and posed for pictures—honoring veterans of the Marines, Navy, Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, and Merchant Marine.

visitor in military uniform saluting
vision class

In the Merchant Marine Room, a large model of a Liberty Ship showed what it was like when Mariners like Brevard’s own Harold Wellington served, dodging torpedoes in the North Sea while delivering equipment and supplies to our Allies during WWII. Also, class members saw the uniforms of all US military academies (shown at right, above) as pathfinder Lake Cochran (far right) led their tour through the museum’s galleries.


VISION Transylvania is a community leadership development program with the goals of promoting networking, teaching leadership styles, exploring local issues, enhancing critical thinking, and furthering economic development. The current class has 30 members. For information on joining next year’s class, please visit the VISION website or contact or contact Executive Director, Angela Owen at

Supporting NC State Museum Designation

After her tour, VISION class member Lindsay Skelton, Executive Director of Mountain Sun Community School, gave support to the museum by sending a letter to NC Senators Kevin Corbin and Bill Rabun. Her letter read: “I am reaching out to offer my support for the Veterans History Museum of the Carolinas located in Brevard, NC to be adopted as the North Carolina State Veterans History Museum.

“Upon visiting yesterday as part of the VISION Transylvania leadership class, I was incredibly impressed by the scope of this amazing place, the knowledge of the docents and guides, and the number and variety of artifacts and items on display. It was an immersive and interactive experience, and I plan to return as there was far too much to take in during one visit.”

Skelton joins many other museum supporters in writing letters encouraging the NC Senate to pass House Bill 296, elevating the museum’s recognition statewide in North Carolina.

For information on how to help with this effort, please email: