Museum hosts festival celebrating 100 years of Ft. Benning

FORT BENNING, GA (WTVM) - Celebrating 100 years of military service and tradition in the Chattahoochee Valley, families across the community spent the day at the National Infantry Museum to celebrate Fort Benning and its impact on American history.

The all-day festival, sponsored by TSYS,  saw crowds pack the museum's galleries, eagerly learning about the U.S. Army Infantry's history.

Volunteers in historical military wardrobe also shared their knowledge on the infantry's weapons from 1775 to 2018, hosting a live exhibit and demonstration on what enlisted men used in conflicts ranging from the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, Vietnam War, and beyond.

People also soaked in some sun, but the effort was worth it...lines of children and "young" adults climbing inside old tanks and armored cars, and asking questions, which soldiers like Sgt. First Class Justin Bolin were happy to answer.

"We've been fielding questions, basically on the life of a drill sergeant, life of a trainee, the activity they can expect," he said.

Saturday's celebration also offered Bolin and his colleagues, including SFC Christine Reel, a chance to meet the generation that served before them.

"I've shaken the hand of WWII veterans today, just tons of veterans," she said. "To know we're all part of that one team, concept, is incredibly humbling."

Sgt. Ron Hudson has served in the Army for 24 years. He said he appreciates the community coming out to the celebration, which means he gets to show people what he does every day.  Hudson's specialty: the latest drones and robots. The Army's training and doctrine command robotics unit held their own miniature demonstration of what these machines can do.

"What we have here," Hudson said, "are some of the robotics that you'll probably see overseas, some soldiers probably have seen already overseas."

These machines are just part of the technology helping soldiers like SFC La Keshia Sanders, who also spent her day with museum goers, sharing what it's like to be an Airborne School instructor.

"They are pretty curious," Sanders said. "It's helping me be able to also talk about the Airborne in a way that people didn't know... Just being able to be a part of something bigger than ourselves," she said, "to be able to meet people who've been immortalized through history."

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