I recently had the pleasure of spending a few days at the, dare I say, legendary National Guard installation known fondly as Camp Crowder. It is located less than two miles from the major metropolis of Neosho Missouri, near Joplin. As you may be able to tell from my tone, I wasn't too enthused about my time there, but I did have a chance one evening to drive around the back areas of the camp, where I ran across an old abandoned section. What the different buildings once were, I can't say. Military installations are always a mix of new, old, and REALLY old and somewhat forgotten buildings. Sometimes, you even end up living in the forgotten buildings!!! Camp Crowder saw its heyday around the time of WWII, when it was home to the US Army Signal Corps, and was exponentially larger than the small Reserve training area it is today. Along with Camp Clark to the north, it was one of the places that Japaneese Americans were sent and esentially imprisioned by an unreasonably frightened nation after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Isn't history fun, kids?!
The main building I found appeared to be some kind of garage or vehicle maintenance shop, judging by the large "garage" type doors. Further down the old abandoned road there were some more buildings, including one that housed four or five large metal tanks. Were these fuel tanks at one time, or perhaps something more sinister.....like toxic mutant waste?!
Although it's still in use, one of the coolest parts of Camp Crowder's hidden areas is a large training site used to teach military police how to run a prisoner of war camp. It's basically a mock field prison, complete with guard towers and razor wire. I was only visiting, but was stripped and de-loused nonetheless. So bittersweet.
So many cool hidden sites to see.....that's why all of you should run out and join the National Guard. And, if by any chance, any one of you is actually taking me seriously at this point, let me know. I totally get money if I get someone else to enlist!
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