Author Archives: Dennis Gill

The Liberation of Europe

75 years ago today, June 6, 1944, over 160,000 Allied troops made their way across the English Channel, landing along a 50 mile stretch of beach to begin the liberation of Europe from Nazi Germany. Thousands of ships and aircraft would support the troops who landed on the beaches that day, thousands of whom would be killed or wounded.  In the end, Nazi Germany was defeated and Europe liberated. Michael Hubiack was one of the thousands of U.S. troops who took part in what was code named Operation Overlord.  Very early in the morning the troops climbed down rope ladders to landing crafts.  As the morning haze lifted, they could … Continue reading

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A moment of remembrance on Memorial Day

By Nick Ralston Program Manager, Google Veterans Network Lead, and former Marine Major I always wanted to be a Marine, but it wasn’t until the first day of rugby practice at the Naval Academy my sophomore year that I knew I was going to be a Marine. One of my coaches, an active duty, larger than life Marine officer took one look at me and declared, “Yep, you’re going to be a Marine.” That was Lieutenant Colonel Kevin Shea, who was killed the following year in combat near Fallujah, Iraq. He was the first person I knew to be killed in action and the first person I think of on … Continue reading

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Lt. Col. John D. Jenkins: In Memoriam

  On February 6th, 2019, United States Army Lt. Col. John D. Jenkins (ret.)  passed away after a long illness.  He was 79. After graduating from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Mr. Jenkins served two tours in Vietnam from 1966-1967 and again from 1971-1972.  Among other awards, he received two Bronze Stars for his service during the war. After retiring from the Army in 1980, Mr. Jenkins went on to work for the Fairfax County Public Schools.  In 1981 he was elected to the Prince William County Board of Supervisors representing the Neabsco district.  His 36 years on the board make him the longest serving supervisor in Virginia. In … Continue reading

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Flying in the Aluminum Overcast – but seeing Shady Lady II.

In between this year’s constant rains, on a spectacular blue fall day, I flew in a B-17. It meant a lot to me. My father flew them 74 years ago. He was one of thousands of American GI’s who were stationed at Polebrook, England’s 351st Bomber Division. The B-17’s would conduct daily bombings of Germany. My Dad called it “the milk run” — and they were on the 23rd mission when he was shot down on a bombing run of Ludwigshafen, Germany — 430 miles away. His Bomber Group served as “Tail End Charlie” for the 1,000 + Bombers. They were to fly “high” at 29,000 feet. In youth we … Continue reading

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2018 Tank Farm Open House

This years Tank Farm Open House was scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, September 22-23 in Nokesville, VA.  Due to rain overnight on Saturday and all day Sunday, the second day of the event had to be canceled.  Despite the challenges imposed by significant rain in the weeks prior, Saturday was a huge success with thousands of people making their way through the gate. Tanks and military vehicles where, as usual, the featured attraction, but by no means the only one.  The vehicles displays were enhanced by several groups of reenactors who set up their camps at various locations around the farm. The Marine Corps Historical Society conducted demonstrations to include … Continue reading

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Keep ‘Em Running: Englands Tank Museum

  At Bovington Camp in Great Britain is The Tank Museum.  Not the “Tank Farm” we all know and love in Nokesville, VA, but across the Atlantic in southwest England.  There one will find over 300 tanks of all sizes and shapes.   So why blog about a tank place that is thousands of miles away?  Because I just came back from visiting there last week and one thing struck me while I toured the facilities….the spirit of mission and values that imbues the staff and volunteers at such a place.   The Tank Museum at Bovington recently had its Open House.  And I enjoyed tremendously seeing some rare and … Continue reading

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2018 Oatlands Plantation WWI & WWII Weekend

The Voices of Freedom participated in the 2018 WWI & WWII Weekend at Oatlands Plantation during the weekend of July 14-15.  This was our 3rd year participating in the event at the historic site.  Despite having no interviews scheduled, we were able to conduct four interviews with veterans and civilians from WWII, Korea and the Gulf War.  When we weren’t conducting interviews, staff gave tours of the studio and promoted the mission of the museum. In addition to the mobile recording studio, the museum provided an M5A1 Stuart Light Tank for the event.  As always, the tank was a huge hit.  

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Dale City Independence Day Parade / Family Fun Day 2018

2018 marks the 4th time the Americans in Wartime Museum has participated in the Dale City Independence Day Parade / Family Fun Day.  Staff with the Voices of Freedom gave tours of the mobile recoding studio, educated people on the future museum and signed up several individuals interested in being interviewed for the project. The temps were high but that didn’t dampen the spirits of those in attendance.  A big thank you to the organizers of the event and all who stopped to say hello and show their support for the museum and its mission.  

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2018 WWII Weekend Recap

The Voices of Freedom brought the Mobile Recording Studio to Reading, PA on June 1, 2 and 3 for the annual World War II Weekend at the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum.  This marks the 4th year the VOF has participated in the event. As was the case in Carlisle two weeks prior, the threat of ran hung over the event all three days, however, for most of the weekend it held off.  The exception was Sunday afternoon when the overcast sky gave way to some light rain.  Some of the scheduled aerial demonstrations where altered but for the most part, the event went on as planed. Crowds were lighter than in … Continue reading

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Voices of Freedom Visit the Army Heritage and Education Center

The Voices of Freedom visited the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center in Carlisle, PA on May 18 – 19 to take part in the 2018 version of Army Heritage Days.  This is the first time the VOF has participated in the annual event. Rain the morning of the first day and threats of rain the remainder of the weekend kept crowds low, however, those that attended were greeted with tank and halftrack demonstrations and reenactors depicting army units from colonial days to present.  The Army Heritage and Education Center was also open to visitors and provided those visitors with walk through of the Army’s rich history. The Voices of Freedom conducted … Continue reading

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