The grounds of the Pennsylvania Military Museum in Boalsburg, Centre County, will once again host the equipment, uniforms and gear of the Vietnam War on July 20-22 in an annual event that has acted as a “homecoming” for veterans of Southeast Asia since 2007.
“This isn’t ancient history,” museum educator Joe Horvath says in a press release. “The generation deployed to that hot, humid place is very much active and we’ve seen an increase in attendance at our event as they invite family members and friends to check out our interpretation.”
This living history programming will feature a soldier’s encampment, battle demonstration, history lectures and musical entertainment.
The firebase will open at 10 a.m. each day with music from Armed Forces Radio Network – Vietnam playing on the camp speaker. “These radio broadcasts are from the time period, for sure,” Horvath says. “You can hear Specialist Pat Sajak [Wheel of Fortune] introduce a song and enjoy complete shows by the blond California bombshell, Chris Noel.”
In addition to listening to the radio broadcasts and viewing the equipment, visitors will have an opportunity to accompany a soldier on a recon patrol of Spring Creek on the half-hour. Long trousers and good shoes are recommended for walking this 50-yard combat identification trail.
Two history lectures are scheduled for the three-day event. Chopper pilot Ed Ramon will talk about his experiences during and after the war at 6:30 p.m. July 20 while Armstrong Senior Scientist Dr. Ron Lenox will discuss the development and deployment of napalm and Agent Orange at 10:30 a.m. July 21.
The Pennsylvania Military Museum and 28th Division Shrine, 51 Boal Ave, Boalsburg, is administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. For more information on activities, click here to access the website, call 814.466.6263 or find the museum on Facebook.
The Greater Pennsylvania Military Preservation Association, Altoona, supplies the period vehicles, tents, equipment and manpower in recreating a “firebase” while the Friends of the PA Military Museum provides financial support for food, water and an evening dinner for the troops.