A look at the past and a peek into the future await soldiers attending the Land Combat Expo on Sept. 9-11 at Patrick Henry Village Pavilion in Heidelberg, Germany.

Although organizers hope to mix the military’s past and future for present-day soldiers, the main reason people attend the expo is to listen to old war stories.

“I would say the big draw is the guest speakers who are coming in,” said Maj. Tammy McKenna, Land Combat Expo project officer.

Guest speakers, many of whom are retired or active-duty military, will share their experiences. Retired Col. Tony Nadal, who was one of the company commanders in Vietnam in the la Drang Valley at Landing Zone X-Ray, will return this year. The battle was depicted in the recent movie, “We Were Soldiers.”

Retired Sgt. 1st Class Sammy Davis, a Vietnam Medal of Honor recipient, is also on the schedule.

Gen. B.B. Bell, U.S. Army Europe commander, is the opening speaker. Gen. William Wallace, former V Corps commander; Gen. Franklin “Buster” Hagenbeck, commander of Operation Anaconda in Afghanistan; and writer Ralph Peterson, who has authored three books on terrorism, are also scheduled to speak.

Their personal experiences, along with numerous historical exhibits, will reflect USAREUR’s evolution from World War II into the future.

Though many events are specifically designed for soldiers, several displays will be available for military spouses and children.

Support groups, such as the American Red Cross and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, will provide information on areas such as personal finance, housing, travel, education and recreation options. Samples of the latest in Meals, Ready to Eat cuisine will also be offered.

A special display will commemorate American Forces Network’s 60th anniversary. The American Forces Network, which started in 1943 with fewer than five hours of recorded radio shows, BBC news and sports broadcasts, has now grown to include 16 radio channels and seven television channels broadcasting to 344,000 servicemembers, their families and Department of Defense civilians.

A returning photo exhibit by World War II military photographer Tony Vacarro will take the viewer on a visual journey back to the days of German reconstruction following the war.

“He captured a lot,” McKenna said. “[It’s] a huge collection of black-and-whites.”

Interested in seeing the future of the Army? Models of shower systems, latrines, containerized kitchens, batch laundry and the latest in chemical/biological and ballistic protection are just some of the military technology to be showcased.

For more information on the expo, visit the official Web site at:

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now