Since its opening, the U.S.S. Orleck Naval Museum has been gaining supporters and visitors from not only here in Southwest Louisiana, but across the world. Rescued from near abandonment in Orange, Texas...the Orleck's birthplace, the World War 2 and Korean conflict ship now calls Lake Charles home.
"Overall, the acceptance has been phenomenal, especially when people come out and see the ship and experience the ship and experience some of our programs," said volunteer Ron Williams. "They are just overwhelmed by it. Locally and people from all across the nation. We had somebody out here from Canada yesterday."
Volunteers with the non-profit group are hoping to get Army Corps of Engineers approval to move the ship either at the end of this year or in early 2013.
"We plan to get it next to the I-10 bridge, near Isle of Capri. We will have a full slate of programs including overnight stays. We plan laser tag."
Supporters feel the future is bright for the Orleck Naval Museum and that it will be good for the economy.
"The Orleck's good for Lake Charles because we're a marine environment," said volunteer Mark Boudreaux. "We're water, shipbuilding, all of the assets to support the marine industry. What better way to top that all off than with a world class marine ship here?"
Both Boudreaux and Williams remind residents that the Orleck Museum is non-profit and depends on donations of both time and money.