By GREG RUSSELL, Register Staff Writer
Local military historians need the proceeds from an upcoming fundraiser to be more prepared when two days of reenacted battle arrive in Gainesville during late 2014.
The Camp Howze unit of the Military Vehicle Preservation Association (MVPA) will play host to a ceremony set for 1 p.m. Saturday, April 6, at the State Theater in Gainesville.
A $10 donation gets visitors access to a silent auction, live music from the Whitesboro Jazz Band, free popcorn and a special presentation of “Saints and Soldiers,” a 2003 war drama. Organizers of the annual Medal of Honor Host City Program will also be on site providing a preview of 2013 activities.
Most important is the path of the donation proceeds. In late September 2014, Camp Howze MVPA members are set to reenact the Battle of Crucifix Hill, a famed World War II skirmish in Germany during late 1944. According to a tentative plan, City of Gainesville officials have already agreed to lend the use of Camp Howze property near FM 1201 as part of what has been titled “Living History Weekend.”
Camp Howze MVPA member Chad Bayer said the two-day “Living History” battle reenactment may run as high as $10,000 — the cost of helping feed and house dozens of reenactors incoming from across the nation.
The organization’s artillery, blank ammunition and uniforms are already owned and Bayer said the event will include the use of donated tanks and military aircraft.
“A lot of it will hopefully be volunteers helping,” he said. “It’s a part of our history, and it’s interesting. A lot happened in World War II that people don’t remember, and don’t realize what it meant to our country.”
Spectator enthusiasm for reenacted war still thrives high in Texas; Bayer said he and friends visited a war reenactment in College Station during the past week that included more than 250 reenactors and an audience of many more.
“We’re hoping to get 125 reenactors and at least 150 in the audience,” he said about Living History Weekend.
More about the auction
Auction items are set to include firearm packages (a new handgun with laser, accessories, ammunition and a concealed license class); car care packages; golf packages; free meals; entertainment; and date packages (a meal for two and a night’s stay at The Inns at Sandy Creek).
Tickets are $10 and are available at the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce, IFS and MCM.
For more information, call (903) 564-9481 or e-mail email@example.com.