The Camp Dodge military reservation, located northwest of Iowa’s capital, Des Moines, has been a community presence in times of war and peace. During World War I, a city serving over 45,000 soldiers sprang up inside its boundaries. As quickly as the army’s city was built, it was dismantled, no longer needed at the war’s end. The land again became a training area for the Iowa National Guard. The community found a home here too, flocking to one of the world’s largest outdoor swimming pools, built in the early 1920s. World War II saw the post processing new soldiers and training the Iowa State Guard, left behind to safeguard the state. Over the years, the camp has heard the pounding of horses’ hooves turn to the roar of tanks. Hand-drawn strategy maps have given way to high-tech computer maneuver simulations. Camp Dodge has survived and grown.
Author Bio: With unprecedented access to the Iowa Gold Star Military Museum archives, the authors present a story encompassing a century. Mary L. Jones, a technical writer, has been the cultural resources manager for the Iowa Army National Guard for 15 years, and Michael W. Vogt, a noted researcher, speaker, and writer, is curator of the Gold Star museum.
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