Military History Center President of the Board, Tom Mancino, BG U.S. Army (RET)
By, Macy Goodnight; On any given day at the Broken Arrow Military History Center, during operating hours, there will invariably be one or more veterans hanging out in the lobby, even from WWII, visiting with each other and telling some of the most amazing stories most people have probably ever heard.
To share this camaraderie with the community, and also raise funds for the museum and its programs, the Center will host their fourth annual Military History Trivia Night, at Battle Creek Event Center July 19, with food at 5 p.m. and trivia at 6 p.m. This event is not only educational but unbelievably inspiring. Sponsorships for tables are available for $200, and individual tickets are only $25. Guests can purchase tickets in advance at the Military History Center, located at 112 N. Main St. in Broken Arrow. Table sponsorships are invaluable, as noted by the museum’s president of the board, Tom Mancino, BG U.S. Army (RET). “If we get enough people to sponsor tables, then it’s possible we can let some veterans play for free,” said Tom. The event will provide a challenging night of military and history trivia, with food, door prizes and best of all, fellowship. There will be prizes for winners, but Tom says, “It’s not much; winners will receive a small trophy.” Many competitors believe the most important takeaway from a Trivia Night win is the bragging rights. “We will be talking about that for the next year.” said Tom, “We have a really good time.” There are other games available that evening for those who do not want to participate in trivia, and all are welcome to this family event. The trivia questions are not exclusively technical as some are based on general history, to make the event more inclusive for everyone.
Exhibits in the Military History Center.
The event’s origins begin with Tom’s inventiveness as the catalyst for this tradition. In the 1980s, when Trivial Pursuit was becoming an American favorite, Tom created his own version, with trivia cards, a felt board and one die. The squad leaders would carry the game with them and would bring it out during rest periods or downtime. “He’d get out this game, and he would ask the squad these questions, and it would help them keep up on tactics, weapons, map readings, and different categories in active service,” said Tom. “It was pretty popular, but never mass-produced, and we used it a lot in the National Guard.”
Tom served 39 years in the Guard. In 2003-2004, Tom was the Commander of the 45th Infantry that served in Afghanistan during that year. He was the first National Guard General Officer to Command National Guard Troops in a combat zone since the Korean War. In 2013, after being retired for six years, he began working with the Military History Museum, and the rest, as they say, is history. The museum today is an ever-growing collection with over 2400 items, “give or take 1 or 200,” said Tom. The Center introduced benefits counseling for veterans two years ago. “It’s been a real joy to see the success of this place and know you had a hand in helping,” he said, “but we wouldn’t be successful without our donors and volunteers.” Everyone at The Center is grateful for the immense continued support from the community, and invite you to join them for Trivia Night. It’ll likely be an experience you’ll never forget.
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