Museum to hold living history weekend on Vietnam war era

BOALSBURG – The Pennsylvania Military Museum in Centre County will hold its sixth annual Vietnam Revisited Living History weekend on Saturday and Sunday, July 20-21.

Visitors will experience the sights, smells and sounds of the era as re-enactors, museum staff and volunteers bring the time period to life.

Weekend events include live music at 1 p.m. Saturday and a patrol ambush demonstration both days at 1:45 p.m.

Visitors also can participate in a recon patrol mission lead by a point-man. Those who wish to participate in the mission are advised to wear long pants and good shoes, as participants will be led through the “jungle.” The lush undergrowth and thick tree canopy surrounding Spring Creek beside the museum, as well as the hot and humid July weather, provide for an excellent representation of the Central Highlands jungle environment in which the soldiers fought.

The living history bivouac provides both entertainment and education. Throughout the activities of U.S. and NVA camp tours, Armed Forces Radio VIETNAM 1968-69 will play on the base “intercom” while each day’s ambush demonstration will be preceded by a short summary of American involvement in Vietnam.

Returning to the event will be Doug Irwin, a local folk guitarist who will entertain the troops and public. Irwin served with the post-war 82nd Airborne Division’s 1/505th Parachute Infantry Regiment. He performs at 1 p.m. Saturday.

“This year I’ll be playing songs that are military/soldier-themed exclusively,” Irwin said. His music will “capture the sacrifice that veterans make, both physical and mental, and the struggles they deal with on their return, especially those who have been in combat.”

The bivouac opens to the public at 10 a.m. each day. Patrol ambush demonstrations are scheduled for 1:45 p.m.

The Pennsylvania Military Museum and 28th Infantry Division Shrine is administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. For more information on the museum, call 814-466-6263 or visit the website at