Bob Stanford, CEO of Zenith Aviation in Fredericksburg, Va. has pledged $1 million to support the National Museum of the United States Army. This most recent gift adds to the over $177 million raised thus far by the National Army Museum Capital Campaign.
Stanford, a pilot and Vietnam veteran, presented his check to Lieutenant General Roger Schultz (USA-Ret.), the Army Historical Foundation’s (AHF’s) President, at a Foundation event this fall.
In recalling his service in the Army, Stanford explained he enlisted in 1968 when he was 18. He trained for nine months as a helicopter pilot and by the time he turned 19 he was a warrant officer serving with the 134th Assault Helicopter Company in Vietnam.
His service in the Army ended in 1971. After returning to the states he found it difficult to find a job as a helicopter pilot. In 2002, he and his daughter founded Zenith Aviation, a supplier of replacement parts for regional and commercial aircraft.
Stanford acknowledged that being a Vietnam veteran had its difficulties. He recalled, “Everybody wants us to forget about Vietnam. We all just tried to put it behind us.” Still, he is proud to support the Museum to ensure that his story and those of his fellow Soldiers are told to future generations.
Upon announcing his pledge, Stanford said, “As a Vietnam veteran, I’m very proud to support the National Museum of the United States Army in telling the story of those who sacrificed so much in Vietnam.”
“The Museum that the American public will get to experience in less than a year would not be possible without the generous donations made to the campaign,” said Schultz. “This project owes a special debt of gratitude to Mr. Bob Stanford who not only contributed to the campaign at one of the highest levels as an individual, but he also served in the U.S. Army as a highly decorated aviator.”
Stanford’s gift places him in the Museum’s Five-Star Circle of Distinction.