We’ve driven by it on interstate 81 for the past several years on our way to southern destinations and on the way back to our northern home. We point at the military structures and machinery that line the road and say, ”One of these days we have to stop there.”
“One of these days” finally came to fruition as we spent our first night on the road in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The following afternoon we ventured over to the US Army Heritage & Education Center located on the United States Army War College Campus.
We spent a good chunk of the afternoon walking along The Army Heritage Trail. This mile long outdoor portion of the heritage center is filled with exhibits that highlight various events throughout US Army history. There are full-scale reconstructions of buildings, encampments, battlefields, and checkpoints from events during the French and Indian War through present day. The trail also includes tanks, artillery and helicopters from different eras as well.
Next we went inside to The Visitor and Education Center. We wandered through the museum following a large timeline that included hundreds of detailed exhibits. Through audiovisual equipment, artifacts and replicas soldiers throughout history told their personal stories and accounts of their experiences. We had a chance to feel the weight of various firearms, the heft of a present day army pack and I even strapped in to land a parachute onto a target (through a simulation of course).
Our walk through history was certainly gratifying but at the end we were weary with a head full of army facts and figures. Perhaps it was time to debrief over a Coors Light (it was almost 5 O’clock).
US Army Heritage & Education Center
October 2014 ~ Sunny High 65/Low 52 degrees
Campground ~ Western Village RV Park ~ $39.00 nightly