Fort Oglethorpe's historic 6th Cavalry Museum on Barnhardt Circle had a lot of wide-eyed visitors last week when area students visited the museum as part of the annual "Remembering Our Heroes School Days" program.
The two-day event allowed students from Catoosa and Walker counties in Georgia and Hamilton County in Tennessee the opportunity to not only learn about military history, but allowed them to do so from a number of fine actors portraying historical figures.
"It's just a really good event, and it gives kids a chance to learn a lot," said Chris McKeever, director of the museum. "The kids just love it."
McKeever said this installment was the seventh year of the program, but the first to include two days.
"Before, it was just one day. But we had so many schools and so many kids wanting to come, that this year we stretched it to two days," McKeever said.
The students were able to hear different speakers throughout the museum such as a Woman's Army Corps officer, a WWII Parachute Infantry Regiment soldier, and Tennessee State Park Ranger Justin Rexrode, who portrayed war hero and Medal of Honor recipient Sgt. Alvin York.
Students were also impressed with an Army Jeep from 1945 that was on hand thanks to retired SSgt. Ray Gray, who spent 28 years serving the country.
"They liked the Jeep pretty good," Gray said. "They were excited to look at it, but it was a little windy, so they were ready to run back inside."
McKeever says the program allows local students the opportunity to learn about history in a more exciting way beyond the classroom.
"The kids really enjoy it," she said. "It gives the students the chance to experience history instead of just reading about it in books."
Adam Cook is a general assignment reporter and covers the Walker-Catoosa County area. He has been a reporter since 2009. He can be reached at The Catoosa County News office at 706-935-2621 and by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.