The spring has been a very busy time for members of the detachment. American Heroes Celebration, aka Muster Day, was a huge undertaking and an even bigger success. The last special edition of the newsletter gave you an overview of everything that took place and a hint of how extensive the living history displays, demonstrations and battle reenactments were. What the photos generally don’t show you is the massive amount of time and hard work that went into making all those wonderful public aspects of the event happen.
The men and women of the detachment put in a combined total of 1,026 hours to prep vehicles, establish camps, put up signs, build the battlefield, clean weapons, etc. before and after the event. An entire (very hot) Saturday was given by these outstanding people the weekend before American Heroes Celebration just to haul out, assemble and place the buildings, barbed wire, anti-tank obstacles and dragon’s teeth for the WWII reenactment. On the same afternoon the event ended, after a full day of living history interpretation and the rigors of putting on an authentic battle reenactment in front of record crowds, these same folks had the task of taking down all the buildings and tents, picking up all the barbed wire, dragons teeth, etc hauling them back to storage and putting them up. The vehicle crews had to put up their vehicles or load them on to trailers for an often long drive home, plus do post-event maintenance. The public was long gone by the time our volunteers went home.
Just two weeks later a dozen members of the detachment participated in the Temple Air Show, where they did a Vietnam display and battle reenactment complete with vehicles, pyrotechnics and a helicopter assault landing. The museum sent one of its operational M113 armored personal carriers to take part in the event, which was a huge public success. We got a chance to give out a lot of flyers about the museum and let a great many folks who didn’t know we existed find out we do. More importantly we had the opportunity to put a spotlight on our Vietnam veterans and honor their service and sacrifice.
For the Memorial Day weekend Close Assault 1944 program, the weather was even hotter then it was for American Heroes Celebration weekend--- sweltering in fact. Nonetheless, a full crew of volunteers showed up the Friday before to put up the tents, PA system, crowd lines, buildings, etc. Then they gave up their holiday weekend to do a terrific job educating the public and honoring our veterans. After which they spent hours tearing everything down and putting it away. Many then drove one to four hours to get home. As tough as that weekend was, the detachment met the challenge with good cheer and plugged away as a team until the mission was accomplished. That’s the kind of people they are and they do it because they believe in the museum, believe in educating the public about the service and sacrifice of our veterans, and believe in supporting and honoring the men and women in uniform today.
In the immediate future there are many more upcoming special events. The detachment will also be putting on the next edition of Close Assault 1944 on November 6-7 in celebration of Veterans Day. Don’t miss them!
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