CLARK COUNTY, Wis. (WEAU) – A taste of the Vietnam War made its way to Wisconsin Saturday.
That’s because The Highground Veterans Memorial Park is hosting a Vietnam reenactment this weekend at Camp Victory near Greenwood. Reenactors put together a 1968 army firebase camp.
“We want to help educate the public and, as reenactors, we want to preserve the memories from that time period, any artifacts. So, today in our encampment, it’s really to have a small piece of 1968 in Vietnam, what a firebase might have been like with the mess hall, motor pool, life in a firebase,” said reenactment organizer Troy Buddenhagen.
“Does bring back a few memories,” Vietnam veteran Dan Schuette said.
He flew Army helicopters during the war.
“You got the sandbags and you got the ammo boxes and the C-Rations and you got the Jeep and the Jeep trailer and what looks like not exactly a top-notch meal for lunch from the field kitchen out here,” Schuette said.
He said he spend a lot of his time in Vietnam flying. However, for many fellow veterans, a firebase was their life at war.
“It was home to many a young man back in the sixties,” Buddenhagen said. “It’s where they build friendships. I mean, they wrote letters home, received packages from home. There was a lot of downtime but, of course, there was duty in a base too that soldiers had to do. So a lot of times, there was not combat, just life in a firebase.”
When asked by The Highground to put on a reenactment, Buddenhagen said he got to choose which war to display. He said there are plenty of Civil War and World War II exhibitions. A model Vietnam firebase, however, is not something many get to experience.
“Vietnam is one of the time periods that sometimes I don’t it gets all the attention that it deserves so it’s nice to be able to have an encampment like this just to educate or remind them it seems like a long time ago but a lot of us remember the Vietnam era,” he said.
He hopes to continue keeping that memory alive so everyone can experience a taste of what veterans like Schuette went through.
The reenactment continues Sunday at Camp Victory from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free.
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