Historic convoy rolls through town

T-R PHOTO BY ADAM SODDERS
An old personnel carrier is driven down North 13th Street toward the Iowa Veterans Home as part of Friday’s historic convoy visit.

It has been 100 years since a United States Army lieutenant colonel by the name of Dwight D. Eisenhower took part in a cross-country convoy on the Lincoln Highway, and homage was paid to that first journey in Marshalltown Friday evening.

The Military Vehicle Preservation Association (MVPA) is heading up the convoy effort. Plenty of local families and residents set up along North 13th Street to witness the convoy roll through once again.

“We love military vehicles,” said Marshalltown resident Aly Shaw, who watched and waved at the convoy with her two young children. “We wanted to come out and see history.”

Her son, Carson, was clearly excited by seeing the massive green military vehicles go by on their way to the Iowa Veterans Home. He said he is an especially big fan of Jeep vehicles, which got their start in war during the first half of the 20th century.

“They just look really cool,” he said, adding he likes watching videos featuring the vehicles and learning about their history.

T-R PHOTO BY ADAM SODDERS
About 100 convoy members rested at the Iowa Veterans Home overnight Friday before leaving at dawn Saturday.

The group departed from Washington, D.C. and MVPA Iowa and Illinois convoy leader Brad Nelson said Marshalltown sits about one-third of the way through the route to San Francisco.

“Maximum (speed) is 35 miles per hour. It’s a great way to see America,” Nelson said. “We have everything from a 1918 Dodge Staff Car to a fairly current 5-ton truck.”

Many residents of the Iowa Veterans Home were excited to see the military vehicles come through, with groups waiting outside the home to check out the convoy.

“It’s great, it’s fantastic,” said IVH Commandant Timon Oujiri. “It is an honor to have them up here.”

The convoy left DeWitt Friday morning before arriving in Marshalltown in the early evening. The group’s next overnight stay is scheduled for Denison before heading into Nebraska Sunday, per the MVPA website.

T-R PHOTO BY ADAM SODDERS
Several families watch and wave as the convoy rolls through.

For more information, visit https://www.mvpa.org/convoys