Well, the boys’ Spring Break is in full swing. This year, we decided to do a “staycation”, which means, essentially, a vacation in our own backyard. We’ve spent so much time traveling recently, it’s nice to just relax and take it easy.

Today, the boys and I took a quick trip to the Camp Blanding Joint Training Center, just outside of Starke.

Camp Blanding

Camp Blanding is the primary military reservation and training base for the Florida National Guard, and covers about 73,000 acres. It’s named after Lt Gen Albert H Blanding, who is among the most distinguished military figures in Florida’s history. He commanded the 31st Infantry Division and was appointed by FDR to serve as the Chief of the National Guard Bureau. During WWII, he was the military adviser to the Florida Governor.

Not that the boys were too interested in any of that. They wanted to see the heavy equipment on static display, like…

The C-47, which the 101st jumped out of in “Band of Brothers”…



A Sherman Tank…

Sherman Tank

and a Howitzer…


An amphibious vehicle, the DUKW, otherwise known as the “duck”…


A field ambulance…

ield Ambulance

and a “Huey” Medivac Helicopter…


These static displays are part of the Camp Blanding Museum and Memorial Park. Located in one of Camp Blanding’s restored World War II buildings, the museum catalogs the history of both Camp Blanding and the Florida National Guard. The boys thought it was interesting, especially the Army uniforms and the weapons on display. Of course, I would’ve liked to have spent a little more time reading the history behind some of the displays, but the boys (being 8-years-old) were more into the “stuff” than the “substance”.

We’ll need to come back when they’re a little older. There’s a lot of military (and Florida) history on these grounds and within these walls…


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  1. Adrienne’s avatar

    I always love the history behind stuff too but kids…you know how it is, ha-ha 🙂



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