Military Vehicle Show brings out the olive drab in enthusiasts
Veterans and military enthusiasts turned out for the Fifth Annual Mid-Ohio Military Vehicle Show held at the Cardinal Center Campground Friday and Saturday.
“We’ve had a good attendance from local people and good weather,” said a pleased Brian Wolf of Cardington, who is also Vice President of the sponsoring Buckeye Military Vehicle Club. “Last year the heat was oppressive.”
This year, 42 vendors showed up with their displays of vintage military vehicles, classic Willys jeeps, and with parts and surplus items for all things ‘Olive Drab.’ Putting the show together involves availability of vendors, weather, and the interest of the public.
“The way this started was through the Buckeye Military Vehicle Club, a group of people who have similar interests in restoring military vehicles and honoring the heritage of where they came from,” Wolf explained. “Through the auspices of that, it took several motivated people to sit down and say, ‘What’s it going to take to put this together?’ That provided the initial funding to buy the advertising and, luckily, the arrangement we have through Jack Fishburn and the Cardinal Center has allowed us to keep the show going in without a lot of overhead. They’ve been a big proponent of the show.”
Wolf said the annual show is about honoring the heritage of the military.
“The club put on a show about 15 years ago in Medina, as many of the members are from northeast Ohio,” he explained. “There are over 100 members scattered throughout Ohio, plus a number of supporters who are not active members.”
Wolf said the membership and participation is something they’d like to see grow.
“I think the economy has been challenging in getting people to bring their vehicles out for people to appreciate,” he explained. “We’re trying to encourage younger people to get involved with this hobby. It’s a lot of older men – with the most interest in WWII era, particularly with Jeeps, because they’re smaller and you can restore one in a garage. Some people like the big truck aspect of it, and you can still find M-Series vehicles and parts. That has accessibility, with new original stock parts.”
Wolf said all branches of the service are represented by the vendors and attendees at the show, and they are bound together by their military service and common bond of serving their country.
“It builds character,” Wolf said.
“Everyone who comes here absolutely loves the place,” said Event Coordinator Tom Wolboldt, citing the campgrounds, facilities and amenities. “Our group really likes the facility and it’s ideally situated in the middle of the state.”
“It draws its own momentum,” said Wolf. “When people come and have a good time, they’ll remember for next year. They remember they had a good time.”