The non-political mission of the Marlboro Volunteers is to bring military history to life and to represent all men and women, past and present, who have served the United States for the past two hundred years.
The group consists of volunteers who give their time, energy, talents and share their life experiences in order to honor the brave men and women of the United States of America, showcasing from the French and Indian War to the present.
The volunteers came about in 1992 by participating as the color guard in a parade responsible for firing a gun salute at a cemetery, according to founder Tom Liverett. Originally, they numbered four, but within a year they had doubled and then in another year, doubled that number again to sixteen.
As the group expanded, they recognized a golden opportunity to make a difference by telling their stories and teaching some of the hidden histories that the average citizen wouldn’t necessarily find in a textbook. Martin Mines from Warren believes that the younger generation only knows about modern history and that the history curriculum doesn’t focus on the past as much as it should.
Now for twenty years, the group has been offering a ride through history in which they load people into trucks and take people through different eras, one at a time.
They show people the plight of the soldier. The soldier who goes to places where others don’t want to go said Liverett, and does things that others don’t want to do, and how they have to come home and live somehow with the consequences of their actions.
But it is important as a nation that the memories are retained and upheld as well as the sacrifices of these brave men and women throughout history. He claims that it’s a living history type of a program and that it is important that they try to keep it both living and up to date in order to do sufficient honor to those who fought and lived and died to ensure that every American has freedom from tyranny today.
On display are uniforms from the Revolutionary War to modern times, showing the development of both the uniform and the equipment. Compared to the equipment of yesteryear, the equipment of today is lighter. Soldiers are trained to be more proficient and modern soldiers have a lot more experience to draw upon, according to Jonathan Persing from Youngstown, a history educator from the modern warfare portion of the Ride Through History.
He also contrasts the modern volunteer army with the conscript force from Vietnam and includes the statement that conscription has occurred throughout history. He notes how the Vietnam vets had very little experience, and now the modern forces are all volunteer forces, taking on that personal experience with a dose of responsibility to ensure that those dark chapters in The United States history are not forgotten.
Visitors will also have the opportunity to talk with the re-enactors, such as those from 8th Pennsylvania Regiment from the Revolutionary War, and also the Delaware Indians, and soldiers from both the Union and Confederacy. In addition to the male soldiers, there will be displays for nurses, including those who served in the second world war, the Civil War and women from the French Resistance.
The Marlboro Volunteers ride regularly in various parades and put on their show at school functions throughout the year, along with the once-a-year Ride Through History. They are not affiliated with any service group or organization. Go to the Marlboro Volunteers website to learn more.