Return to Tigerland - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Return to Tigerland

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FORT POLK, La. (KALB News Channel 5)-- Today the public had the chance to experience the life of a U.S. Army Soldier, and for some it was a return to the past--News Channel Five's Steven Maxwell takes us to Return to Tigerland at Fort Polk.
 
During the Vietnam War, Fort Polk's 162nd Infantry Brigade, or Tiger Brigade, trained at Tigerland, which simulated Vietnam's terrain and atmosphere.
 
Now the public is getting a chance at an inside look of the modern day Tigerland.
 
Col. James Brown, Brigade Commander-"So our outreach efforts help bring us closer to our community," said Col. James Brown, Fort Polk's 162nd Infantry Brigade Commander. "It's the communities we live and work in as well."
 
Soldiers demonstrated how to clear a room as well as medical training exercises during combat. But the public also had some hands on experience as well with gun simulations.
 
Maj. Martin Howley, Tiger Brigade-"It gives us a chance to show what we do," said Maj. Martin Howley.  "Show how we interact with our neighbors, get to know our neighbors, and our neighbors get to know us."
 
But for others this was a trip back into the past.
 

This is Edward Martin's first time back to Tigerland since he left basic training in 1967, and for him -- Tigerland is much different.
 
"It's a lot different than it was in 1967," said Edward Martin, former member of the Tiger Brigade.  "A lot more different things here."
 
It also brings back old memories.
 
"It was different than what I was used to being in civilian life. But it was pretty good training," said Martin. "I don't have any regrets about it and was glad to serve the country."
 
But the legacy and pride of the Tiger Brigade is one thing they will always have.
 
"When things get tough, chaotic or hectic that legacy to reach back on to gives you a sense of strength, and helps you carry through," said Col. Brown.

Organizers say this will be the last year for return to Tigerland due to the disestablishment of the 162nd Brigade.
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