“1993 Military History Class”

Carroll County Times article for 1 August 1993

By Jay A. Graybeal

This past week I had the pleasure of teaching a course about local military history to a group of middle school students. The course explored local military history and artifacts from 1750 to the present. Students learned about Carroll Countians’ participation in the American Revolution, War of 1812, Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, and the Korean and Vietnam Conflicts. Students also examined military artifacts (uniforms, insignia, swords, photographs etc.) from the Society’s collection. Local veterans of twentieth century conflicts described their experiences and answered student questions.

Attending this year’s class were: A. J. Condon, Jason T. Cross – East Middle School, Sterling Douglas Eaton, Eric J. Saxton – Mount Airy Middle School, Dmitri Yusef Fedoruk – West Middle School, Jesse Lee Nida, Nikolas A. Obriecht, Jason Michael Seabrease, and Andrew David Wherley – North Carroll Middle School.

Guest speakers provided special knowledge about an aspect of military history. Dan Hartzler, lifelong New Windsor resident and author of six books on Maryland weapons and soldiers, spoke about firearms used in the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.

The remaining guest speakers were local veterans. Paul W. Englar, who served with Battery F, 58th Artillery, Coastal Artillery Corps, answered questions about his service seventy-five years ago as a “doughboy” in World War I. Reese L. Starner described his job as a radio-gunner on a B-17 Flying Fortress bomber of the 414th Bomb Squadron in World War II. Charles Elwood Cooper spoke about his experiences with U.S. Marine Corps in Korea. The final speaker was Jerry Barnes, a member of the elite Green Berets who served in Vietnam.

Each of the veterans were both eyewitness to and participant in the historical events they described. The format provided the students with an opportunity to question former soldiers about all aspects of military life. They learned that much of service was routine and boring. Combat on the other hand was often sheer terror and chaos. Veterans also spoke about the unique bond that forms among those who have served in combat. Students also learned that there are always costs, some of them quite terrible, to those who offer their lives in the service of their country.

Photo Caption: Dan Hartzler talks to Military History Class students about the clothing, weapons and military participation of local frontiersmen in the Revolutionary War.