Saturday May 30th, Armed Forces Day, saw the Osprey traveling show in two locations on the East Coast. Team A, consisting of Larry, Shirley and Shirley's husband, Mark, was at the Army War College in Carlisle for the annual Army Heritage Day.
Team B, consisting of yours truly, was in Newport News at the Virginia War Museum for their annual toy soldier timeline event. I've not yet received Team A's show report, but my event was an excellent success. The folks who run the museum are real history buffs and the museum itself is a throwback to another, better time. In fact, the first thing you realize when you enter is that it is misnamed---the museum has very little to do with Virginia history and everything to do with American--and world--military history. In the foyer, just as you walk in, is a Renault FT-17 Light Tank from WWI. (Not being as steeped in military history as many of you are, I had not heard of the FT-17 until I started getting requests for the old Osprey Vanguard title on it. Steve Zaloga is doing a book on French Tanks of World War I which will feature extensive sections on the Renault FT-17 - although you will have to wait until late 2010 for it.)
The museum then winds through a series of exhibits depicting guns, uniforms, and other military artifacts beginning with the American Colonial era and ending with a dispay of one of General Colin Powel's desert fatigue uniforms from the first Gulf War. Highlights for me were the WWII-era Japanese infantry uniform and the case full of Samurai Swords. These, as is the case of most of the items in the musuem, were donated by US servicemen who obtained them during tours of duty overseas. The museum also has a fantastic display of wartime propagana posters from all over the world. In addition, there's a world-class library and archive, available for use by the public.
On Saturday May 30th our very own friend and supporter, Ed Shames, will be at the museum from 1-3 signing copies of Tonight We Die as Men. If you're in the area please stop by to meet Col Shames and take some time to see this fantastic tribute to military history.