Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Annie's Adventures in Tankland

This week finds me in Georgia for spring break and for Eric's graduation from the Maneuver Captains' Career Course. This proved a great opportunity for a family get-together, so the Muirheads and Moshers descended upon Fort Benning. As a special treat, some of us spent a couple of hours at the Armor Museum Restoration Yard. Since the Armor School moved to Benning from Fort Knox, the Army has assembled an extensive Armor collection at Benning with the goal of creating a National Armor and Cavalry Museum to rival the phenomenal Infantry Museum (review to come!). Unfortunately, a severe lack of funding has put a serious damper on these plans. The only workers we saw there today were Marines doing volunteer hours as part of whatever school they're attending. We didn't encounter anyone in charge, but no one questioned a captain in uniform walking around with three men in coats and ties (plus me). I wish someone had been around, because I would love to talk about tank restoration in the context of what I've learned about museum conservation this semester. The scale of this place was simply incredible - tanks as far as the eye could see from around the world. The real treasures are kept inside, but even those show signs of damage from the elements. As awesome as it was to be so close to such amazing artifacts, it's pretty sad to see them rusting away without homes. Below is a slideshow of my pictures from today. If you think the public deserves to see these vehicles preserved and interpreted, please visit the National Armor and Cavalry Heritage Foundation and consider making a contribution to the museum's future.