WWII veterans revisit Camp Blanding after 75 years

Moosehaven retirement home vets remember training days at former camp

STARKE, Fla. – A group of World War II Army veterans revisited Camp Blanding Museum and Memorial Park Tuesday to remember their training days from 75 years ago.

The residents of the Moosehaven retirement community enjoyed a private tour around the museum with curator Greg Parsons, who was glad to see the increasingly rare WWII vets coming to the museum.

“A lot of these guys don't have good memories and they don't want to remember them,” said Parsons.  “You stand there with the families with their mouths open because they never heard or seen them talk about this.”

The area where Camp Blanding Museum and Memorial Park sits today was a major U.S. Army training facility throughout the second world war, housing two complete infantry divisions. The museum now offers tourists and veterans a piece of Florida’s history to reminisce.

“Oh I remember this place,” said Cliff Miller, a 92-year-old WWII veteran and Battle of the Bulge survivor, who trained at the facility 75 years ago. “It's like going back home. ... It was really worth it for everybody that ever served here.”

Camp Blanding continues training Florida National Guard members at a separate Joint Training Center close to the museum, which is open every day from noon to 4 p.m.

About the Authors:

Kent Justice co-anchors News4Jax's 5 p.m., 10 and 11 p.m. newscasts weeknights and reports on government and politics. He also hosts "This Week in Jacksonville," Channel 4's hot topics and politics public affairs show each Sunday morning at 9 a.m.