Dozens of vintage military vehicles traveling cross-country

WHEATON, Ill. (WLS) -- 42 vehicles, from Jeeps to camo-covered semis, are driving across the U.S. to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the U.S. Army's first transcontinental convoy in 1919.

"We're retracing the steps that the army did in 1919," said Dan McClusky, the convoy commander for the Military Vehicle Preservation Association as the group stopped at the DuPage County Fair Grounds.

McClusky said the Army first made this trek across the Lincoln Highway for two reasons: to test the military's ability to drive long distances as well as to promote highway travel to the general public.

A century later, the MVPA is making the more-than-a-month-long journey to commemorate that achievement, honor veterans, and bring the public closer to history.

Normally, McClusky pointed out, at museums people can only observe historic vehicles.

"They can take pictures of it, they can't touch it," he said, adding, "We're out here to give that experience to the general public."

The convoy leaves the Chicago area Wednesday, continuing toward it's final stop in California.
Copyright © 2019 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.