By 354th Mobile Public Affairs DetachmentJune 19, 2009
WOOSTER, Ohio - As technology continues to boom, it seems as though everything gets smaller, faster and sleeker. However, there is a small fraternity of people who live by the adage that newer doesn't always mean better.
A part of that fraternity is the Military Vehicle Preservation Association, in particular, those members who restore and collect military vehicles from every era.
There are many reasons why people restore military vehicles. Some do it because the vehicles are similar to those used while they were in the service, while others just like military history. Whatever the reason, their dedication and attention to detail are evident.
Sgt. 1st Class Mark Ounan, 324th Military Police Battalion, bought a 1918 Dodge Brothers Army vehicle a mere two years ago and has worked around the clock to get it street worthy.
"There just isn't anything like getting an old vehicle and making it look brand new again," said Ounan, 324th. Aca,!A"It's great to see the reactions I get going down the road in the Dodge, it makes all the hard work well worth it."
For many members of the MVPA, restoring vehicles isn't just a hobby but a life-long passion which is often contagious to others around them.
"I've been working on old cars with my dad since I was 4 years old," said Jacob Wood, 16, of Akron, Ohio. Aca,!A"Working on the cars is what I love to do, and I'll probably do it the rest of my life."
Recently, the MVPA organized many of its members together to take part in the reenactment of the 1919 transcontinental motor convoy, which began in Washington D.C. and ended 3,200 miles across the country in San Francisco. The convoy started with more than 250 participants and 60 vehicles and gained support, participants, and vehicles along the way.
"I cannot describe how awesome this is to have so many people taking part in this," said Ouman. "It's also great stopping at all the small communities and talking to combat veterans about their experiences."
When the convoy ends in Lincoln Park in San Francisco and everyone returns home, another historic, transcontinental convoy will be completed. It is safe to say that all of this year's participants will end the mission with a renewed sense of patriotism and love of their military history and vehicles.