101st Airborne Visits Sgt. York State Park

By Jacob E. Rosenbaum

On Friday, June 29th, a company of the United States Army 101st Airborne Division paid a visit to Sgt. Alvin C. York Historic State Park in Pall Mall. The Company was there to honor one of their own members, who is a historical reenactor at the park, and to tour the park and learn about the legacy of Sgt. York and his involvement in World War I.

The Company was given a tour of the park, as well as the recently dedicated Sgt York Gravesite by Park Ranger Josh Waggener. They also viewed a number of historical re-enactments performed by a number of the park’s volunteers. A film crew from the Washington D.C. area was also on hand getting footage for a new documentary about Sgt. York that is being sponsored by the U. S. Army.

The soldier honored by his comrades was Specialist Promotable Dustin McGraw, who said that he had been volunteering at Sgt. York Park for the last year, and had really enjoyed his time doing so. McGraw had been on active duty in Italy during his early Army career and had said that he spent a great deal of time sightseeing and touring Europe on his days off. After returning to Tennessee, McGraw felt as though he needed a recreational outlet to occupy his weekends. This led him to Sgt. Alvin C. York Historiuc Park, where he began volunteering as a re-enactor. McGraw said that his passion for re-enacting at the park stemmed from a deep interest in World War I and Sgt. York.

Read the rest of the story in this week’s Fentress Courier.