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WEB EXCLUSIVE! Military reunions in Pensacola and Topeka

Pensacola, Fla.
Naval Air Station Pensacola gives this gulf-side town military cache. From March through November, the Blue Angels practice for air shows. At the Naval Aviation Museum, visitors can peruse more than 150 restored aircraft and more than 4,000 artifacts that represent Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard aviation.

The Vietnam Veterans of Northwest Florida’s “Wall South,” a half-scale model of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C., is in Veterans Memorial Park.

“We’re a diverse destination,” said Laura Lee, director of communications for the Pensacola Bay Area CVB.  “We have the beaches, the historic downtown and all the attractions. We can put together a dynamic itinerary for reunions.”


Topeka, Kan.
About a 60-mile drive from Fort Riley, Topeka “embraces veterans and the active military,” said Adrianne Meyer, convention sales manager for Visit Topeka. The city is also the home of Forbes Field, formerly Forbes Air Force Base.

Guests can see more than 30 military aircraft, from World War I to the present, as well as engines and military vehicles, at the Combat Air Museum at Forbes Field. More than 50 paintings, models, photographs and prints depicting combat aircraft since World War I hang in the Air Heritage Gallery. The Museum of the Kansas National Guard showcases weapons, uniforms and other artifacts carried or worn by Kansas guardsmen from the Civil War to the Gulf War.

Two limited-service hotels scheduled to soon open will boost area guest rooms, already around 3,000. Because winter weather can be a little dicey, most reunion groups gather between April and October. And most get in touch with the CVB, for advice and assistance.
“We love it when they call us,” Meyer said


For more information:

Military reunions: All hands on deck