CAMP GUERNSEY, Wyo. – Many people may not realize the Wyoming National Guard had a significant role in the Korean War. According to “Cowboy Cannoneers in the Korean War,” the Wyoming National Guard’s 300th Armored Field Artillery Battalion (AFA) became one of the most highly decorated Wyoming units to serve in any war.The equipment that enabled the 300th AFA to accomplish such a feat was the Priest M-7 Howitzer. Manufactured during World War II, it was nicknamed the Priest because of its pulpit-shaped machine gun ring. These M-7s were still used in 1950 at the start of the Korean War.The 300th AFA had just finished annual training at Camp Carson in Colorado when North Korea invaded South Korea. The unit was called up in August 1950 and trained for war at Ft. Lewis, Washington, before sailing to Korea. They fought until the war ended July 27, 1953.A piece of that history now sits for all to view in front of Camp Guernsey’s Regional Training Institute. Visitors can walk right up and touch it.U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Brian Parrish restored the M-7.“I can only imagine what those Wyoming Soldiers went through, were exposed to, in those types of environments, working out of a piece of equipment like that,” Parrish says, “It really helps value the evolution of the equipment that we have now. Those Soldiers paved the way for us to thrive. Their endurance has helped us be the stronger, more efficient units that we are now.”Parrish is a mechanic who works with the Combined Support Maintenance Shop at Camp Guernsey, maintaining military vehicles so they are mission ready. He has restored several other historic military vehicles, one of which sits in front of the National Guard Museum in Cheyenne.Parrish spent two weeks scraping the M-7 by hand to be repainted. He didn’t want to risk that the original paint might be lead-based, so sandblasting the vehicle was not an option. He put on four coats of direct-to-metal paint to ensure it will last a long time.“I wanted to create the best representation that I could of our history,” he says. “I feel proud to be part of this project. I was glad to do it. It’s a reflection and a representation of the history of the Wyoming Guard.”For more National Guard newsNational Guard FacebookNational Guard Twitter