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Tanks roll in for Army Heritage Days

CARLISLE, CUMBERLAND COUNTY, Pa. -- The Army Heritage and Education Center in Carlisle will celebrate the life of the U.S. soldier during Heritage Days, May 20-21.

The year 2017 marks a special time for the U.S. armored forces.

Meanwhile, the Army Heritage Center brought in something big to celebrate.

Anyone who's been to Heritage Days and thinks they've seen it all, hasn't seen anything yet.

The Army Heritage Center proudly sends the word that the tanks are coming.

Army Heritage Center division chief of visitor and education services Jack Giblin said "we're going to have a whole bunch of different kinds of armored vehicles ranging from World War II, all the way up through current operations today."

Tank operator Col. Al Kose said "you would get to see this many vintage, and contemporary armored vehicles at one location, and not only look at them, but actually see them running, negotiating obstacle course, demonstration firing, and all that."

It's a first for Army Heritage Days as the Army Heritage and Education Center celebrates 100 years of armored forces.

"Between 1916 and 1918, the Armored Core came to be in the United States Army. The first armored school was opened in France in 1917, by captain George S. Patton Jr.," Giblin said.

Even with 31 years experience, having tank maneuvers at Heritage Days also are a first for Col. Kose.

"This is the first time that I'll be driving one here, or crewing one here, and this is really a unique opportunity," Col. Kose said.

"About six or eight of the vehicles are going to run through everything that includes a Stone Mountain, a mud put, beach obstacles, and even a log corduroy road," Giblin said.

"When I retired in 2009, I never thought that I would have the opportunity to get on one again," Col. Kose said.

As the collection of tanks, armored vehicles and trucks rolled in, the sight of a U.S. Army tank is something to be seen and appreciated up close, and in person.

"Ours is 37 tons, the M1 tank that they're using today is near 70, so you get that much mass, moving, I mean you're going to feel it," Col. Kose said.

"They're going to see how loud they are, the kind of impact they make. I don't think many people understand what the capability of this kind of equipment is," Giblin said.

"I can still get them around. We get rusty with age, and because we don't drive them as much anymore, but we can still, we'll get them around the course," Col. Kose said.

Army Heritage Days will take place Saturday, May 20, and Sunday, May 21, from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm, at the Army Heritage and Education Center in Carlisle.

Besides having the chance to see the military equipment in action, the next best thing is the event is put on free of charge.