GED Lagerewskij has wanted to open a military museum ever since he retired from the service and after six years, he and wife Paula have made the dream a reality.
Together, the couple launched the Tasmania Military Museum in Glenorchy last November with the goal of giving visitors a comprehensive understanding of Australia's military history.
It is laid on in a number of distinctive sections and boasts a range of displays and features including uniforms, postcards, letters, photos, equipment, information, quizzes, battle dioramas and models of equipment, including tanks.
The WWI display is designed to resemble a real trench, complete with sandbags, lighting, sound effects and lifelike mannequins in uniform.
Paula has worked as a nurse for 25 years and the museum contains a section on the history of military nursing.
It also features an exhibit on the history of Australian military uniforms, dating from World War I to the present.
The animals at war section pays tribute to pigeons, dogs, horses and the various animals which have served during military conflicts.
Another highlight is a gallery which explores Australia's complex and varied military history with nations and regions including Japan, Germany, China, Russia/ the USSR and the Middle East.
"The gallery looks at how our relationship has changed with some nations over time," he said.
Ged said his fascination with military history dated back to his childhood - he became interested in learning everything he could about the military when he was around six years old.
During his 18 year career, he saw operational service in Iraq, Afghanistan and East Timor and said the experience gave him a whole new perspective on what war was like.
"The polish of war soon tarnishes off. It's just horrific," he said.
He said he hoped the museum would challenge misinformation, subjective truths and commonly held perceptions about war and help people see the grey areas surrounding Australia's military history and future.
"If you ask a Japanese person how World War II started, they will give a very different perspective."
"In Australia, we go to war with America and it's just what we do. One of the things we want to do is encourage discussion about war in the community."
"I want people to be as comfortable discussing wars as they are discussing the results of the footy on the weekend."
Ged was forced to retire after having to deal with numerous injuries and procedures including spinal fusion surgery in his neck and lower back, a shoulder reconstruction and osteoarthritis in his knee.
He knew he wanted to remain involved with the military in some way and in 2012, he and Paula purchased the former St Johns Ambulance facility on Main Rd and started work on the museum.
Ged said the majority of items featured in the museum came from his own personal collection, while some other items had been donated by other members of the community.
The museum is open from 10am-5pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays or by appointment for groups.
For more information, call 0405-147-210 or go to the museum's page on Facebook.