STANLEY (WQOW) - A convoy of historic military vehicles is cruising through the Midwest, and on Saturday drivers were greeted by more than 100 people in downtown Stanley as they stopped in town.
"It's really is heartwarming to see all the people come out," said American Legion #2711 Commander, Bruce Wozniak. "You know, you serve your country, and you don't ask for any thanks, but when you come home, it's really great to get that thanks."
People were downtown to see the Military Vehicle Preservation Association (MVPA) convoy. Every few years, the convoy travels different routes across the United States. This year, it's traveling along the Yellowstone Trail, a historic route that goes through much of West-Central Wisconsin. To celebrate the convoy stopping in Stanley, the trail was decorated with yellow ribbons.
"We have made this a community event, and we want wanted to make it of course a family-friendly event," said event organizer, Marthamae Kottschade. "And the Legion and VFW wanted people in place when the convoy arrives."
Besides the convoy, there were other trucks for children to see, camouflage face painting, and military clothes to try on.
"This is the time to show our military spirit for this vehicle convoy that's traveling the country, and to show their appreciation for armed forces and for our veterans," Kottschade said.
The MVPA convoy that came to Stanley was made up of 40 historic vehicles, which are all privately owned, restored, and maintained by MVPA members. The convoy began its trek on July 28 in South Dakota and will end on Aug. 20 in Ohio. The commander of the convoy, Terry Shelswell, said the turnout in Stanley was beyond what the group has seen in other communities, adding they were honored by Saturday's warm welcome.
"We do this to be able to thank our veterans and our service personnel, to present to the public what may be their grandfathers, their fathers, their mothers have used when they were in service, and let people get up close and look at them," Shelswell said. "And, to be able to let the veterans come back and have a look at vehicles they maybe haven't seen in 50 years."
For Wozniak, the support means the world, not just to him but also to all that have served.
"From the military side, all of us that deployed from WW2 that are left to now, it is great to have the support," Wozniak said.
The MVPA includes thousands of members across The United States and the world.