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May 14, 2016

Fort McCoy WI – Armed Forces Day May 21, 2016

Posted by: Jennifer

Armed Forces Day is celebrated across the US on the third Saturday of May each year. Fort McCoy is Wisconsin’s only Army installation and it will open to the public for tours and demonstrations on May 21, 0216, from 9 am to 3 pm.

Fort McCoy is located between Sparta and Tomah, along Highway 21. It’s an easy drive from the B&B and the events scheduled will make a great family learning day. Start at the historic, award-winning Commemorative Area just inside Gate 15 off of Highway 21. (Please note: adults should have a photo ID.) Food will be available for sale but visitors may bring their own picnic lunches if they prefer.

Activities that day will include guided, narrated bus tours of the installation. The tours will tell you more about the 18 tenant organizations on the Army post. All of these activities are involved in training the US Army personnel in jobs such as infantry, cyber security, medical support, and ordinance. You will get an up-close look at military equipment including helicopters and tanks and the terrain where training occurs on this equipment.

Kids (young and old) can line up for face painting (how about some camouflage face paint?). See how “dog tags” are made.

Safety equipment will be one display and will be available for visitors to touch, feel, and try on. Helmets that have “done their job” will be shown and explained how they provided protection to the soldier. Visitors can see and try on body armor, ballistic glasses, and helmets so they can better appreciate what our troops endure as they do the job of a soldier. New this year: displays about military medical procedures and a mobile unit from USO Wisconsin.

Fort McCoy has been training our military since 1909. The Army post is named for Robert B. McCoy, a retired WWI major general who first proposed the site as a training center. The fort now is comprised of 60,000 acres of training grounds and military support activities. On Armed Forces Day, representatives from the Army, Army Reserve, Navy, Coast Guard auxiliary, and Marines will be on site and helping to explain the important role Fort McCoy plays in the military’s mission.

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