Posted on Jan 11, 2023

Ean Tillett, the new and first director of the National Vietnam War Museum, shared some exciting news with Rotary Club of Mineral Wells members on Wednesday.

Tillett said groundbreaking is scheduled to occur in October on Phase II of the museum building. A formal date will be set late.

The main museum building represents the first of four planned phases, opened last June. The two-level building houses its collections and gift shop, displays leading visitors through a history of the Vietnam War and Mineral Wells' role in the war as home to Fort Wolters, the U.S. Army's primary training base during the war.

Ean comes to the NVWM after serving at the Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas. Ean will oversee all facets of the NVWM, especially its new 20,000-square-foot museum's main building, which opened last June. He will also lead fundraising for the second phase of construction of the main building.

He is originally from California but has lived in Texas about 15 years, most of those in the Houston area.

Ean said he will work to improve the museum's displays and how the Vietnam War story is told to visitors as they walk among the displays, collections and more. He wants to ad interactive and educational elements, such as a helicopter flight simulator to give people a feeling of what Vietnam War pilots faced.

He noted that the Vietnam War is referred to by some as “the helicopter war.”

PHOTO: Club President-Elect Mike Rankin, left, is pictured with Ean Tillett, director for the National Vietnam War Museum.

Ean said he hopes to within two years catalog the museum's 20,000 donated items to ensure they properly attributed to the donors, accounted for and properly cared for.

He said the museum will accept donations. The museum published new guidelines for donations. Those guidelines, and more information about the museum and operations can be found at

Along with the main museum building, the National Vietnam War Museum includes several gardens, a half-scale replica Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall, a Camp Holloway Memorial wall, static displays and much more.