A couple of days ago, I briefly spoke with Mike Turner, United States Marine Corps veteran/volunteer Events Secretary for the AVHC and asked him to share some highlights of the Patriot Freedom Festival. “I would say the most popular thing to do is to see all the reenactors, military displays and our free entertainment. The most unique thing about our festival is that we are on the National Historic Landmark Designated Campus and you can tour it. Also, our guests can see military groups and equipment from the Civil War to the current era plus being able to thank the Veterans that are here,” said Turner.
In April 2016, an announcement was made that the VA National Archives will be moving from Washington, D.C. to the Dayton VA campus. The plan is for the archives to be housed in Building 116 (formerly the Headquarters, built in 1871) and Building 129 (formerly the Clubhouse, built in 1881). “The National Archives has no timetable really since 20-26 million needs to be raised first,” said Turner.
Said Browne in reference to 2015’s Patriot Freedom Festival, “We have people who didn’t even realize the festival was going on and just stumbled on the campus because they saw signs and showed up so you have a variety of people. My personal favorite part of the festival is seeing everyone come, getting to educate people, getting to be there in a very veteran & family friendly atmosphere and being a part of the celebration of our American veteran history.”
Recap of festival activities: honoring ceremonies, historical military reenactors, guided historical tours, children’s activities, barrel train, kid’s corner, gardening, equestrian team, the Miami Valley Military History Museum and more.
For more information about the Patriot Freedom Festival, visit americanveteransheritage.org, facebook.com/patriotfreedomfestival and follow @theavhc on Instagram & Twitter. Also, donations to the American Veterans Heritage Center can be made by clicking here.
Photography by Tom Gilliam of DaytonGram and Tom Gilliam Photography.