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    2018 Armed Forces Day Open House celebrates Fort McCoy's past, present

    2017 Fort McCoy Armed Forces Day Open House entertains many attendees

    Photo By Scott Sturkol | Visitors to the 2017 Fort McCoy Armed Forces Day Open House participate in the event's...... read more read more



    Story by Aimee Malone 

    Fort McCoy Public Affairs Office           

    The annual Armed Forces Day Open House is a Fort McCoy tradition that celebrates the installation's past, present, and future.

    The 2018 event takes place 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 19 at the installation's Commemorative Area, which features the History Center, Equipment Park, five World War II-era historical buildings, and Veterans Memorial Plaza. Fort McCoy staff and units, as well as military-connected organizations from surrounding communities, set up displays to explain what they do and how they help the armed forces.

    The open house provides Fort McCoy Soldiers and staff members a chance to show the public how they serve the armed forces and help prepare them for battle, said Public Affairs Specialist Theresa Fitzgerald.

    "Open house is a chance for us to showcase what happens at Fort McCoy all year round," Fitzgerald said. "It's a chance for the community to learn about what we do and our history."

    Fort McCoy was founded in 1909 and has served all branches of the U.S. military ever since. Fort McCoy has supported military members in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the war on terrorism. Veterans Memorial Plaza in the Commemorative Area stands as tribute to the military members who have served and trained at Fort McCoy during those times, as well as those who fought and died in the conflicts.

    Fort McCoy, along with the rest of the Department of Defense, is commemorating World War I's 100th anniversary. This year's open house will feature several displays with a World War I focus, such as 88th Readiness Division Historian Ward Zischke's presentation, Tom Buehler's military historical display, and the Monroe County Local History Room display.

    Prior to and during World War I, Fort McCoy split into two parts. An artillery camp called Camp Robinson was located south of the railroad tracks, while Camp Emory Upton, a maneuver camp, was located to the north.

    Archaeologists have found remnants of these training camps during preservation and assessment work on Fort McCoy.
    Information and artifacts from the World War I era (as well as from throughout the post's history) are on display in the History Center, building 902, during open house.

    Open house is family-friendly and open to the public. Activities and displays are geared at a variety of ages, from an obstacle course and facepainting for young children, a shooting gallery and rock wall for those a little older, and safety and job information for adults.

    Military units will have interactive vehicle displays, and Fort McCoy staff members will conduct installation bus tours suitable for all ages.

    "New this year are a display from the Monroe County Local History Room and AAR (after-action review) trailers, which will show Army videos and actual footage of training conducted at Fort McCoy," Fitzgerald said. "The installation bus tours are always popular, as are the military vehicle displays. It's one of the few chances people get to see inside a real military vehicle."

    Food and beverages are available for sale from the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, but participants can also bring their own lunches and eat at the picnic pavilion.

    "Make a day of it and bring the whole family," Fitzgerald said. "We have plenty of activities to keep everyone busy, and we like getting the chance to show people what we do."

    Signs will be set up on Highway 21 between Sparta and Tomah directing vehicles to open house. Adults should be prepared to show photo identification and proof of insurance.

    For more information about the Armed Forces Day Open House, call Public Affairs at 608-388-4209.



    Date Taken: 04.26.2018
    Date Posted: 04.26.2018 09:53
    Story ID: 274589
    Location: FORT MCCOY, WI, US 

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