Schofield Barracks honors past with throwback day

| October 18, 2017 | 0 Comments

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Guests and volunteers pose for a photo during Living History Day at the Tropic Lightning Museum, Oct. 14, 2017. (U.S. Army photo by Kristen Wong, Oahu Publications)

Kristen Wong
Contributing Writer

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Schofield Barracks went back in time, Saturday, bringing back the military essence of various historical eras at the Tropic Lightning Museum’s annual Living History Day.

Col. Stephen E. Dawson, commander, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii, spoke briefly at the opening ceremony. Attendees received a mini history lesson about the 25th Infantry Division. While other units have changed locations over time, the 25th ID is the only active duty unit that remains in the place where it was established, at Schofield, Oct. 1, 1941.

With displays and historic period vehicles supplied and manned by local organizations including the Hawaii Historic Arms Association, Hawaii Civil War Round Table and Single Action Shootists of Hawaii, attendees were immersed in period history they moved from the Civil War to the modern day.

Eric Mueller, left, the living history coordinator with the Hawaii Civil War Roundtable, outfits Caleb Benavente, 9 in a Civil War-era uniform of the 71st Regiment New York State Militia, New York National Guard. (Photo by Kristen Wong, Oahu Publications)

The Governor Wallace Rider Farrington High School JROTC provided a color guard for the opening ceremony, which included the national anthem and “Hawaii Pono‘i.”

Celtic Pipes and Drums of Hawaii performed several tunes, including a few songs of the military branches. The 25th ID Tropic Knights and Lightning Jazz Project Band provided musical entertainment, and the Hawaii Jitterbugs cut a rug with vintage swing dancing.

Visual aids
Attendees could explore the museum’s interior, or chat with people stationed at various booths. The booths included vintage and modern weapons, as well as historical artifacts. Many people wore old military uniforms, as well as period dress, for the occasion.

Dawson himself wore period dress. His uniform, provided by the HHAA, was similar to those worn in the Vietnam War era. He mentioned that the vintage uniform is much more comfortable than his regular cammies.

The 520th Military Working Dog Detachment, 728th Military Police Battalion, 8th MP Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, conducted a K9 demonstration on the grassy roundabout in front of the museum.

With supervision by Staff Sgt. Victoria Donithan, a patrol drug detector dog handler with 520th Military Working Dog Det., 728th MP Bn., 8th MP Bde., 8th TSC, Jerry, a patrol drug detector dog, demonstrated skill in finding a hidden item in one of three cans.

Staff Sgt. Cletus Hentz, a trainer with the 520th Military Working Dog Det., 728th MP Bn., 8th MP Bde., 8th TSC, then wore padding on his arm for an attack demonstration with Jerry.

For the children
In addition to perusing the various tables, children could also go through an obstacle course with help from Farrington JROTC volunteers, and have their face painted.

Eric Mueller, the living history coordinator with the Hawaii Civil War Round Table, led a Civil War “re-enactment,” teaching attendees about different facets of the war. Many volunteered to be a part of the reenactment, as “recruits” in a military formation. Following Mueller’s lead, the children marched and charged.

Dawson commended the fact that the event “bridges the gap between generations,” referring to the veterans and JROTC cadets.

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Category: Community, Education

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