|Story & photos by Rob Schuette, Public Affairs Staff
Fort McCoy’s 2011 Armed Forces Day Open House May 21 attracted visitors
from near and far to view Army life.
A crowd gathers to watch as Ella,
a police dog from the Wisconsin State Patrol, demonstrates a
search for contraband items.
Many first-time visitors enjoyed viewing Army equipment and
participating in or viewing many interactive displays, including the
making of dog tags, camouflage face painting and the educational Holocaust exhibit “One Soul: When Humanity Fails.”
Tou and Linda Lee of Holmen, Wis., brought their young son to visit the
installation for the first time. Tou Lee, a member of the Reserves, said
his son liked looking at the equipment in the Equipment Park and
climbing on the equipment provided by Regional Training Site
(RTS)-Maintenance and the Maneuver Area Training Equipment Site (MATES).
Linda Lee said she enjoyed having everything in the open so her son
could explore it.
“He might sit in the driver’s seat of the equipment all day if we let
him,” Linda said.
Karen Braman of Tomah, Wis., said she came to the Open House to view the
Holocaust exhibit. Braman said she had done a high-school project about
the Holocaust and also visited the site of a former concentration camp
in Germany in 2004.
An Open House visitor (left)
views the educational Holocaust exhibit, “One Soul: When
“It shook me to the core to do the project,” Braman said. “Then I saw
the exhibit was coming here and I had to see it. It’s hard to believe
the Holocaust happened or some people still deny it happened.”
Emily Hauck of Madison, Wis., brought World War II Navy veteran George
Hauck, who was visiting from New Jersey, to the event.
“I found this event as a day trip and thought it would be good to come
here and visit,” Emily Hauck said. “I found the information very
informative and it was worth making the trip here.”
George Hauck said he enjoyed seeing the historical aspects and seeing
the advances in medicine, some of which were on display at the Regional
Training Site-Medical exhibit.
“Medical care for today’s military personnel is much better than it was
in my time,” he said.
Camouflage face painting was a
popular attraction for youth throughout the day.
John Arts of Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., brought a Cub Scout Pack to the
installation as a field trip.
An informal poll of the group revealed their favorites were the Army
tanks, the obstacle course and filling sand bags.
Jeff Garves of Bangor, Wis., brought his two grandsons to the Open
“They enjoyed climbing on the RTS-Maintenance and MATES equipment,”
Garves said. “They also liked ‘shooting’ the interactive weapons, such
as in the Shooting Van.”
The 2012 Armed Forces Day Open House at Fort McCoy will be held May 19,
the third Saturday in May. For more information about the event, call