To honor their service to our nation, military members, veterans and their families will be admitted free to Fort Concho this Saturday when the national historic landmark will be celebrating Armed Forces Day. “We thought it an apropos gesture – just a small way of saying thank you, on Armed Forces Day, to those who have served or supported our men and women in uniform,” Fort Manager Bob Bluthardt said.
Fort Concho National Historic Landmark will honor our nation’s military with its annual Armed Forces Day celebration from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Parade Ground near the Barracks 1 Visitor Center this Saturday, May 18.

The 344th Military Intelligence Battalion of the U.S. Army stationed at Goodfellow Air Force Base will bring an armored Humvee, somewhat of a cross between a tank and a classic Army Jeep. Two soldiers from the battalion will be dressed and equipped in full gear to visit with guests.

Representing the 19th-century end of our military heritage, the fort will display its new Gatling gun, the 1870s version of the modern machine gun, and staff and volunteers will coordinate a firing drill of blank rounds at 11 a.m. A gift from the NRA Foundation, the Gatling gun reflected the highest military technology of 140 years ago.

Tom and Mack, the fort’s mule team, will be on duty, pulling the site’s ambulance wagon, offering rides from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Wells Fargo stagecoach will be brought onto the Parade Ground for the public’s inspection. The accurate reproduction of an original coach represents the most secure form of transportation in the west in the many regions not accessible by the railroad.

There is no charge for any of the outside activities. Regular site admissions of $1.50 to $3 will be in effect to see the rest of the fort, open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Also available at no charge at the fort’s Barracks 1 Visitor Center will be the fort’s new photo display on famed Indian captive Cynthia Ann Parker and her son, Comanche chief Quanah Parker.

The exhibit will run until June 28. For more information, call Fort Concho at (325) 657-4444 or go to www.fortconcho.com.

(Information provided by the City of San Angelo Public Information Office)