Benjamin Mack-Jackson, the Clermont teen who has been chronicling the experiences of World War II veterans, has expanded his mission to keep alive the memories of these men and women by creating a traveling museum filled with wartime artifacts.

After acquiring a few pieces of memorabilia, Benjamin decided to showcase them on the road. Today, he travels with more than 100 pieces, telling the history and stories behind them to schools, veterans organizations and seminars.

“I’m passionate about history in general, but each item has their own breath-taking story behind them, and I think it adds a lot to my presentations,” Benjamin said. “My goal from the very beginning was to teach my generation about WWII and give them a greater appreciation for our veterans. Having these items really helps them visualize what they went through.”

Benjamin, 14, launched his WWII Veterans History Project two summers ago and has recently started traveling throughout Florida, showing off items such as uniforms, photos, medals, patches, helmets, hats and flags that have been donated to him.

“A friend of veteran Donald Spies, who served in WWII, Korea and Vietnam, donated his uniforms to the museum,” he said. “His story is one of the main focuses of my presentation. He was a true American hero who served in the U.S. Air Force and rose to be a lieutenant colonel, was shot down in Vietnam and retired with 6,000 flying hours. He passed away in 2009, and it’s an honor to be able to preserve his memory.”

All of the items are carefully preserved, catalogued and displayed for viewing access.

“I thought it was really interesting to hear someone so young start this kind of project,” Yasmin Cintron, 12, said after listening to Benjamin at her school. “Some of the people he interview died shortly after, so it was really inspiring to know that he is preserving their memories before they are gone.”

Benjamin has big plans for his project. He is currently working on getting nonprofit certification, raising money for larger transportation to fit all of his memorabilia and hopes to travel throughout the nation in the coming years.

“As more people donate and the more I interview, I realize that I want to continue to spread my mission throughout the country,” Benjamin said. “I can’t imagine all of the stories and items that await outside of Florida.”

The WWII Veterans History Project currently has a Go Fund Me account, where people can help sponsor his dream. He is also accepting any military memorabilia from any era to add to his museum and is looking for more opportunities for presentations.

“It would be my honor to preserve these items for future generations,” he said.

For information, go to www.ww2veteranshistoryproject.com, email historian@WW2VeteransHistoryProject.com or call 352-708-4644.