FORT McCOY, Wis. -- Fort McCoy’s 2011 Armed Forces Day Open House May 21 attracted visitors from near and far to view Army life.

Many first-time visitors enjoyed viewing Army equipment and participating in or viewing many interactive displays, including the making of dog tags, camouflage face painting and the educational Holocaust exhibit “One Soul: When Humanity Fails.”

Tou and Linda Lee of Holmen, Wis., brought their young son to visit the installation for the first time.

Tou Lee, a member of the Reserves, said his son liked looking at the equipment in the Equipment Park and climbing on the equipment provided by Regional Training Site (RTS)-Maintenance and the Maneuver Area Training Equipment Site (MATES).

Linda Lee said she enjoyed having everything in the open so her son could explore it.

“He might sit in the driver’s seat of the equipment all day if we let him,” Linda said.

Karen Braman of Tomah, Wis., said she came to the Open House to view the Holocaust exhibit. Braman said she had done a high-school project about the Holocaust and also visited the site of a former concentration camp in Germany in 2004.

“It shook me to the core to do the project,” Braman said. “Then I saw the exhibit was coming here and I had to see it. It’s hard to believe the Holocaust happened or some people still deny it happened.”

Emily Hauck of Madison, Wis., brought World War II Navy veteran George Hauck, who was visiting from New Jersey, to the event.

“I found this event as a day trip and thought it would be good to come here and visit,” Emily Hauck said. “I found the information very informative and it was worth making the trip here.”

George Hauck said he enjoyed seeing the historical aspects and seeing the advances in medicine, some of which were on display at the Regional Training Site-Medical exhibit.

“Medical care for today’s military personnel is much better than it was in my time,” he said.

John Arts of Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., brought a Cub Scout Pack to the installation as a field trip.

An informal poll of the group revealed their favorites were the Army tanks, the obstacle course and filling sand bags.
Jeff Garves of Bangor, Wis., brought his two grandsons to the Open House.

“They enjoyed climbing on the RTS-Maintenance and MATES equipment,” Garves said. “They also liked ‘shooting’ the interactive weapons, such as in the Shooting Van.”

The 2012 Armed Forces Day Open House at Fort McCoy will be held May 19, the third Saturday in May. For more information about the event, call 608-388-2407.