They’ve been through hell, so a little heat and humidity won’t slow the MIL-WITS.
The Mason City (Iowa) Globe Gazette reported that the MIL-WITS are military veterans and owners of Winnebago and Itasca motorhomes, and they’re having their usual big ol’ time this week at the 42nd-annual Winnebago-Itasca Travelers (WIT) grand national rally at Winnebago’s rally grounds in Forest City.
“We love it,” said Jack Fraker of Winter Haven, Fla., a retired Navy veteran who served as the first MIL-WITS president when the club’s charter was approved in 1991. “It’s the biggest and best special interest group in WIT.
“When we play taps at night the mosquitoes think it’s a cattle call,” he said.
The club held its national rally last week in Forest City — playing reveille at daybreak and taps in the evening using CDs and a P.A. system.
Members provided the color guard for the opening ceremony parade, the flag-raising and a military services event at the WIT Rally — and they’ll do the same for the closing ceremonies.
They donated money to Honor Flight Winnebago, which sends World War II veterans to see the iconic military sites in Washington, D.C., and, as usual, assembled a float for last week’s Puckerbrush Days parade in Forest City.
“It’s a festive occasion, the Puckerbrush parade,” said Bill Speer of Milford, Kan., the current MIL-WITS president.
Speer was wounded in Vietnam and had his right arm amputated after the war. He got a prosthesis, stayed on active duty and retired as an Army colonel in 1994.
His club, which includes veterans from the U.S. and Canada, is celebrating its 20th WIT Rally. There are about 40 motor homes involved.
“There’s a tremendous amount of leadership skills and talent in a club like this. What their grade was or was their occupation was is moot,” Speer said.
“Our primary goal is to provide an opportunity for retired and active military members to travel in Winnebago products,” he said, “and see the country they defended.”