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Chester man honors the Greatest Generation through home motor museum

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Posted at 11:49 PM, May 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-09 00:03:30-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Follow Lee Holland through his backyard in Chester and the hands of time begin to slowly go in reverse.
Inside what looks like a three bay garage is a tribute to the Greatest Generation on four wheels.

“Oh, its relaxing. Its very relaxing to just come out here," says Lee. “It is the ultimate man cave. Yes. It is. It is indeed.”

The Army veteran never grew out of his love of playing with trucks. Lee's WWII Motor Pool Museum opened in 2005.

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“It is amazing the look on their faces when they open their door and they see what is here," Holland said.

The Maryland native owns a fleet of vehicles - from an ambulance to one of the first jeeps ever made.

“It occupies a lot of time as you can imagine," Holland said. “As a custodian of these to try to bring them back and restore them back. It’s a real honor to do that.”

Lee is just one of more than four thousand members of the Military Vehicle Preservation Association worldwide.

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Lee's supportive wife Kim says the trucks are more obsession than hobby.

“This fulfilled the obligation to find a place for his collection," Kim said. “A busy Lee is a happy Lee. Therefore I am very happy for him to have his time to keep him out of my hair.”

Lee will go to great lengths to add to his one man operation from the midwest to the Mediterranean.

“Its funny they seem to find me more than I find them," Holland said.

But the thrill isn't in the hunt. It's sharing his passion with others.

“Where it pays off is when I have a WWII veteran come through the museum here," says Lee.

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Lee's parents met weeks before his father John left for war. Personal memorabilia fills the museum including handwritten letters from his homesick father.

“The closing is always the mushy part here," says Lee. “It’s a little tough to do. It is a little tough to read it.”

The history buff will steer his collection for another decade or so.

“So, those that survive today it’s a pretty incredible feat that they’re still around.”

When he finally hands over the keys, Lee intends to donate the entire collection to the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford which will secure a legacy for generations.

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“It is building lifetime memories with people that is important. When folks come in here, they see this and see the stories it is something they will cherish and never forget.”

Lee still welcomes small groups of under ten to his museum. He will open the doors to larger student groups when it is safe to do so.

Admission is always free.

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If you are interested in touring Lee's WWII Motor Pool Museum, call 804-530-2400

If you know of someone with an interesting story email gmcquade@wtvr.com
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