Military vehicles now on display at area veterans community
Tue, 09/20/2022 - 3:17pm caleb
Camp Grayling provides two armored security vehicles for display as Camp Curnalia celebrates 100th anniversary
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
Representatives from Camp Curnalia – a “military veterans community” located on Higgins Lake – provided a plaque to Camp Grayling leaders on Wednesday, September 14, in recognition of the military providing two vehicles for permanent display at the neighborhood.
Fred Bradley, Camp Curnalia board member, said the veteran community has been trying for a couple of years to secure a piece of military equipment for display.
“Just anything to represent our camp. This is more than we ever expected,” Bradley said.
Camp Grayling/MATES had the vehicles delivered on Tuesday, and on Wednesday Camp Curnalia presented an “Award of Excellence” plaque to Col. Scott Meyers, Camp Grayling Commander, “in appreciation of the outstanding support of Camp Grayling with the Camp Grayling Cottage Owners Association Memorial Day Ceremony 2022.”
Col. Meyers, during Wednesday’s presentation, explained how he was contacted by representatives from Camp Curnalia requesting a piece of military equipment, and how he later received a directive to decommission vehicles. Camp Grayling opted to display two of the vehicles slated to be decommissioned at Camp Curnalia; the vehicles would have been used for targets for jets and artillery on bombing ranges, Col. Meyers said.
“This is a great utilization of something that would have been blown up anyway,” Col. Meyers said.
The two pieces of displayed equipment are armored security vehicles. Col. Meyers said when in use the ASVs typically have a crew of three, including a driver and a gunner. Col. Meyers said they are normally used for “perimeter security” by Military Police. The ASVs can carry food and water and ammunition, and they are equipped with air conditioning, he said.
Col. Meyers and Camp Grayling participated in a Memorial Day ceremony this year at Camp Curnalia.
“We had a good memorial service,” Camp Curnalia representatives said.
“Hugely patriotic group,” Col. Meyers said. “Really great event.”
Camp Curnalia representatives said the community has 405 cottages, and the timing of receiving the vehicles for permanent display worked out well because the camp is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2022.
“Special that it came together on the 100th anniversary,” a Camp Curnalia resident said.
“(Camp Curnalia) was previously known as the North Higgins Lake American Legion Park,” according to www.campcurnalia.org. “James McCrea, of Roscommon, initiated negotiations for the American Legion to obtain the land now known as Camp Curnalia. McCrea envisioned a summer camp for wounded veterans. He was joined in his endeavor by Dr. Clifford C. Curnalia, Roscommon, 10th district representative, United States Veterans Bureau, and others. They approached the state conservation department with their proposal and were joined by John Baird of Saginaw to see this through. In 1922 the camp had 150 squad tents on 76 acres with 3,000 feet of frontage on Higgins Lake, under the direction of the American Legion for use of disabled veterans. Dr. Curnalia worked with the State of Michigan and the American Legion to create an area where servicemen could relax and enjoy the beauty of our state.”
“This is a unique camp here,” Col. Meyers said. “It’s a friendly community.”
One of the vehicles is located on a cement pad near the entrance of the community with a few other displays in the Camp Curnalia Veterans Park. The other vehicle is located on a cement pad near the shore of Higgins Lake further into the community.
Jack Hull, who presented the plaque to Col. Meyers on Wednesday, said having the military vehicles displayed at Camp Curnalia means a lot to the members of the community.
“You don’t know what this means for the veterans here,” Hull said.