On May15th 2003, members of the MTA gathered at the Dover NationalGuard Armory with their military vehicles. It was a beautiful day for aparade. The sun was shining and the temperature was comfortable makingfor a camaraderie atmosphere as one by one MTA members pulled into theArmory parking lot with their vehicles.
This day the MTA was participating in the 2003 Picatinny Arsenal ArmedForces Day Parade. The gathering at the armory preceded a convoy that wouldtravel the short distance to the Arsenal and the staging area for the parade.
At the Armory, idle chatter and banter filled the air until MTA Parade/EventsChairman Frank Eichenlaub yelled, “Let’s line-up and get ready to moveout”. Under his direction vehicles were positioned in line according tosize and era.In a short amount of time the convoy of 18 vehicles was makingits way north on Route 15 with the 3 mile journey ending at a parade stagingarea inside the government facility.
The staging area was nicely shaded and offered a nice environment for MTAmembers to converse and exchange hobby-related “war stories”. Time passedquickly before the signal was given to “start your engines”.There werea few, always to be expected, lengthy pauses leading up to the actual paraderoute. The parade slowly passed the reviewing stand and emptied into thefacility’s visitor’s parking lot, where concession tents were erected.Meal tickets were handed out to hungry MTA members who quickly scurriedto the lengthy chow lines. The food and drink was enjoyed, while a militaryband provided music from various eras of history. Other festivities includedparachutists being “expelled” from helicopters and a demonstration of aM1 Abrams tank slowly crushing a car.
Theday resulted in a pleasant experience for all and another well-receivedevent for the Military Transport Association of North Jersey