News: Military Vehicle Preservation Association convoys through Camp Atterbury
Story by Ashley Roy
CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - Coinciding with Historic Military Vehicle Preservation Week in Indiana, Sept. 15-21 as proclaimed by Gov. Mike Pence, members of the Military Vehicle Preservation Association convoyed their historic vehicles to Camp Atterbury, Edinburgh, Ind., Sept. 16 for a tour, meet-and-greet and hands-on activities.
Members of the organization arrived at Atterbury in historic military vehicles ranging from the World War II era to the Cold War and Desert Storm. The first convoy of the year for the Indiana affiliate, the event was put on by the Washington Area Collectors Blue and Grey Trust in conjunction with the Indiana Military Vehicle Preservation Association.
For many of the collectors who are veterans or grew up in a military family, being able to participate in events like these are special as they are given a look at military life today.
A K-9 search-and-rescue demonstration was given along with a tour of the simulation facilities, explanations of Atterbury’s current missions and an opportunity for the MVPA to convoy their vehicles through the Atterbury training areas and land.
“I enjoyed the history of Atterbury and seeing what Atterbury is doing to help support the government in their worldwide training,” said Scott Ward, treasurer for the Indiana Military Vehicle Preservation Association.
Current soldiers working and training at the installation were also afforded the opportunity to explore the vehicles and meet with the collectors including Bob Vollmer, a local 97 year-old World War II veteran who still drives the World War II jeep he says he saved up $450 to buy in 1946 from a general coming back from the Philippines.
Other members speculate it is probably the oldest single-owner military vehicle out there, or at least the oldest they have come across.
The five vehicles on display as part of the convoy consisted of three World War II era jeeps, a Korean War era jeep and a Cold War era commercial utility cargo vehicle; showcasing nearly 50 years of military vehicle history.
“This is what men went to war in before Humvees and MRAPs,” said Ward.
The MVPA is the largest international historic military vehicle group and includes around 8,000 members and almost 100 affiliate groups hosting a variety of events.
Lanny Moore, one of the Atterbury visitors, is an active member of the MVPA and has participated in many of the events hosted by the organization. In 2009 he completed the Transcontinental Motor Convoy from D.C. to San Francisco, and in 2012 he completed the 70th anniversary convoy of the building of the Alaska Highway, a 4100-mile trip which took 27 days - quite a feat when considering some of the vehicles don’t travel more than 35 mph.
The organization holds numerous shows and displays, all with personally owned vehicles, but also provides mechanical support to fellow members and a community for a unique group of collectors, said Moore.
“A lot of people take a lot of pride in their vehicles. It’s like a military antique car club but it’s different because someone will come up and say, ‘I drove one of those when I was in the military,’ and it’s sometimes with a tear in their eye, for whatever reason, because it meant something special to them,” said Ward.
Those wishing to see some of these historical military vehicles have a chance during the Indiana MVPA annual vehicle show and swap meet at the Ropkey Armor Museum in Crawfordsville, Ind., Sept. 20-21. Information can be requested by email at president@indianaMVPA.org.