Dean W. wrote:
No problem. We're a small group right now. About 6 guys in Tulsa, 3 or 4 in Oklahoma City. Most of the events are Living History displays and a few reenacting events during the fall and winter months, I mostly do the living history stuff. Just let me know if you get down this way. My direct email is: email@example.com
Honestly, I do living history as well. I seldom go out on the "battlefield" simply because I think most battle reenactments are done in a hokey and often flat out disrespectfully inaccurate manner. They are staged simply to give people an excuse to play with their guns and everything else is secondary.
Our unit is working towards having medical scenarios for the living history display that will be coordinated with the battle so that people returning from the battle reenactment can come to see us tend to the wounded. We want to figure out ways of doing accurate simulated surgery and such so that the days of dyed bandages and other blatantly fake ways of simulating "wounds" can be a thing of the past. Our goal is to be as accurate in the portrayal of wounds (I have 15 years of experience in trauma care, both civilian and military, so my standards are pretty high) and honestly, if people don't leave the medical tent a little shaken, we are not doing a good enough job. I think that is honestly something that is lost in the modern era: there is an almost clinical (for lack of a better term) detachment from the pain and suffering that is associated with war. People are not experiencing it in any way, shape or form unless someone close to them gets hurt. Without rationing, without clear and direct demonstrations of the price of war and the fact that is hell as Sherman described it, we become too comfortable with this idea of sanitized "low intensity conflict" that permeates modern military doctrines. If we can drive home these points, perhaps the public will be less willing to let our politicians pick our battles in a lackadaisical fashion. As Otto von Bismarck is famously quoted for saying, "Anyone who has looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier as he lays dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before going to war".
One of my enlisted men actually jokes that I've spent more time coming up with casualty scenarios than most non-medical people spend learning their entire impression. Once I get everything figured out, I am planning on putting together a "how to" manual to help other living history units establish similar practices and standards in their operations.
Most of our events are Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan but it looks like if we have the equipment and manpower to go, we may be attending some events in Missouri, Ohio and Kentucky. There is another group creating a 326th Airborne Medical Company living history unit down in Texas and the CO and I have become friends as we have been trying to each assist the other. Chances are decent we will be down in Midland, TX for the Commemorative Air Force's AIRSHO next year.