A personal association between a young boy and the U.S. Army traveled full circle recently when Norm and Meg Augustine made a $100,000 commitment toward construction of the National Museum of the United States Army.
Norm Augustine was raised in Colorado and his family lived near an Army hospital during World War II. During the war, Augustine’s parents would invite Soldiers who were recovering at the hospital to their home for Sunday dinner. The Soldiers made quite an impression on Augustine. “We shared our dinner table with Soldiers from when I was 6 to about 10-years-old,” remembered Augustine. “Most of those Soldiers were young, and some had been seriously injured, and their courage and commitment always inspired me.”
Augustine went on to attend Princeton University and pursue a career in aeronautical engineering with the Douglas Aircraft Company. He also served in positions within the Department of Defense. In 1975, Augustine became Under Secretary of the Army and later Acting Secretary of the Army. He returned to the aerospace industry after leaving government service, joining Martin Marietta Corporation and becoming the first president of the newly form
ed Lockheed Martin Corporation.
Augustine emphasized that the National Army Museum will be unique and cut across the entire Army. “This is an opportunity to show respect for all of those who have worn the Army uniform … all Soldiers deserve to be recognized.”
Augustine added that he and his wife Meg also support the important educational contributions of the future National Museum. He remarked that history doesn’t always repeat itself, but it often rhymes. “Too often in times of peace, we neglect our military and then try to ‘catch up’ when we need it,” remarked Augustine, “and as a nation, we pay a price for that philosophy.”
“Our nation would not exist were it not for the U.S. Army and the courageous Soldiers who defended it,” said BG Creighton W. Abrams, Jr. (USA-Ret.) in acknowledging the Augustines’ gift. “It’s an honor to recognize Norm and Meg Augustine for their support, and I urge all current and former Army leaders to fuel the groundswell of support for a permanent home for the history and heritage of the American Soldier.”