There will be a Jeep Run for Operation Home Front on Saturday, Aug. 1, pulling out from Newton American Legion Post 20. Registration starts at 10:30 a.m.
The fundraiser will assist the program designed to help veterans and their families in need, as well as provide help to veterans in care facilities. There is some historic irony to Operation Home Front having Jeeps hit the road Saturday, because August 1 is the seventy-ninth anniversary when the all-terrain military vehicle was readied to serve the country.
In 1941, the Jeep was developed as a vehicle that could fulfill off-road duties over all kinds of terrain. After the United States entered the war, Jeeps would be shipped across the globe. They would be used for scouting missions, escorts of supply trucks and ambulances with framing to hold several wounded troops in stacked stretchers. They carried machine guns, small artillery pieces and rocket launchers as well as communication equipment and officers of all ranks from lieutenants and ensigns to generals and admirals. The vehicles could offer relief from slogging through the mud and muck or trudging through snow and ice.
They made the American and Allied armies more mobile during that war. They would be part of the United States transportation corps until the Humvees came along 30 years ago. Many old Army Jeeps were put to work on farms and ranches or adjusted for carrying supplies for businesses.
Nowadays, Jeeps are considered recreational vehicles. They are more for fun in the sun. But the weekend Jeep Run will link up with the iconic history of the Jeep. It is a fitting way to say thanks to veterans.