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MVPA kicks off Yellowstone Trail convoy in Aberdeen

Published: Jul. 27, 2021 at 7:21 PM CDT
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ABERDEEN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Gathering for their last driver’s meeting before taking off Wednesday, the Military Vehicle Preservation Association’s 2021 Yellowstone Trail convoy begins in Aberdeen with a show and parade.

“We have been referred to over the years as the longest 4th of July parade. We are very proud of that.” said Convoy Commander Terry Shelswell.

The convoy is on it’s way to their national convention in Ohio in a few weeks, making stops in a number of towns along the way to showcase military vehicles of the past century. As well as connect veterans and their families to old memories.

“We often meet up with families with veterans, a lot of grandfathers and fathers, who never really said too much about their military service. And these become a touchstone and they go, ‘Wow, I haven’t seen one of these, I used to drive one of these.’” said convoy member Jeff Rowsam.

While the vehicles are all privately owned, Shelswell said if you ask nice enough, you can get in one yourself and experience a piece of history.

“We encourage the young ones, the young children to come get in the vehicle, have a little look at it. Maybe and older brother, or a grandpa or great-grandpa served and used these vehicles.” said Shelswell.

Shelswell said they picked Aberdeen as their starting point for the trip as it offered a great spot to gather and plan. And he said the whole group is thankful for getting to spend the weekend preparing in the Hub City.

“It’s allowed us, with this facility here at the fairgrounds to do our registration work, to do our drivers’ meetings, really in comfort.” said Shelswell.

The convoy will leave the Brown County Fairgrounds Wednesday morning at 8 p.m., and participate in a parade going around town. From there, the convoy will be stopping in communities along U.S. Highway 12 towards Milbank.

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