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Carl Lavin was a high school senior in Canton, Ohio when 4,500 miles away Japanese Zeros screamed over Pearl Harbor. Along with thousands of young men and women, Lavin responded by joining the U.S. Army as soon as he turned 18. His decision led him from Ohio to Europe with the 84th Infantry Division, through battle at the front lines, and finally to victory and Occupation. On Wednesday, July 18, 2018, at 7:15 PM, the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center in Carlisle, Pennsylvania will host Carl Lavin’s son, Mr. Frank Lavin, as he gives a lecture based on his book, Home Front to Battlefront: An Ohio Teenager in World War II. Mr. Lavin will tell his father’s story, garnered from personal letters and recollections, interviews with Carl Lavin’s brothers in arms, and formal histories.

Carl Lavin’s story is a reflection of the experiences of most of the young men and women who were thrust into the horrors of combat in Europe in World War II. Carl Lavin’s papers and recollections cover his reaction to the experiences of military life, from intense combat to the idiocies of military bureaucracy. Frank Lavin’s unfettered access to Carl’s life story adds a richness to the scholarship on World War II.

Frank Lavin is the CEO and founder of the e-commerce firm Export Now. He earned a B.S. from the School of Foreign Service (Georgetown); an M.S. in Chinese Language and History (Georgetown); an M.A. in International Relations and International Economics from the School of Advanced International Studies (Johns Hopkins); and an M.B.A. in Finance at the Wharton School (Pennsylvania). Working for the U.S. Government, Lavin served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Singapore from 2001 to 2005 and as Under Secretary for International Trade at the U.S. Department of Commerce from 2005-2007. Previously, Lavin served in the George H.W. Bush and Reagan Administrations, working in the Department of Commerce, Department of State, National Security Council, and White House. Lavin served as Director of the White House Office of Political Affairs from 1987-89. He is currently a columnist for and has been published in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, and other periodicals.

DATE: Wednesday, July 18, 2018

TIME: Doors open at 6:30 PM and the talk begins at 7:15 PM

PLACE: USAHEC, Visitor and Education Center, Multipurpose Room

For updates and any last-minute changes in “Perspectives” meeting times and places, please check: or call the Information Desk: 717-245-3972.

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Click here to view the Army Heritage Center Foundation's 2017 Annual Report.


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The Army Heritage Center Foundation was recently recognized for our transparency with a 2018 Gold Seal on our GuideStar Nonprofit Profile! GuideStar is the world’s largest source of information on nonprofit organizations. More than 8 million visitors per year and a network of 200+ partners use GuideStar data to grow support for nonprofits. In order to get the 2018 Gold Seal, the Foundation shared important information with the public using our profile on Now our community members and potential donors can find in-depth information about our goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress. We’re shining a spotlight on the difference we help make in the world.

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“Battle Babies,” the story of the 99th Infantry Division in World War II is on display in a new art exhibit at the United States Army Heritage and Education Center (USAHEC), in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The exhibit features the artwork and story of Robert (Robbie) S. Robison who enlisted in the Army on November 21, 1942 and served in Europe with the 99th Infantry Division as a writer and artist on the division newspaper called the Checkerboard.   Robison's comic strip artwork in the Checkerboard featured the escapades of Private Van Dorn, affectionately known as "Dornie." Utilizing Private Van Dorn, Robison illustrated the story of a new Soldier while using gentle sarcasm and a keen sense of observation of what it was like to grow up as a Soldier in the United States Army.  Using the military exploits of Private Van Dorn, Robison’s humor representing the common place happenings of Soldier life during training and war helped lift the morale of the American troops.

The Checkerboard title referenced the division’s distinctive checkerboard shoulder patch which represented 99th’s lineage in Western Pennsylvania. The patch consisted of a black shield, the black representing Pittsburgh's iron industry, with 9 blue and 9 white squares.  The blue and white were from William Pitt's coat of arms.  Pittsburgh was named for William Pitt in 1758. 

Artist Robison, was trained at the Carnegie Institute of Technology, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and after the war served as an instructor and later department Chairman of the commercial Art Department at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. 

All of USAHEC’s exhibits are free and open to the public. For more information on the USAHEC or other exhibits, please visit

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The 1968 Tet Offensive is known as a pivotal campaign of the Vietnam War. During this year’s Army Heritage Days event, on May 19 and 20, 2018 from 9 am to 5 pm, the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center (USAHEC) will commemorate Tet’s 50th anniversary year with several themed events and lectures scheduled throughout the weekend.

Our first lecture of the weekend takes place on Saturday, May 19th at 12:00 pm and transports visitors to May 1968 with, “Three Battalions in May: A Look at Army Combat Operations during the Communist ‘Mini-Tet’ Offensive." Using a series of interviews with Veterans, Dr. Erik Villard, Digital Military Historian from the Center of Military History, will explore the May Offensive through the experiences of the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division, at Khe Sanh and Dong Ha; the 2d Battalion, 1st Infantry, 196th Infantry Brigade at Kham Duc; and the 1st Battalion, 50th Infantry (Mechanized) at An Bao to show how the successful Allied counteroffensives that followed Tet forced the Communists to change and scale back their plans for the May Offensive in the I Corps and II Corps areas.

The second lecture, presented by Mr. Rick St. John on Sunday, May 20th at 1:00 pm, steps back in time and explores the campaign that took place in January of the same year.  In 1968, Rick St. John was a 23-yr-old 1st Lieutenant and the executive officer of B Company “Tiger Bravo” in the 2nd Battalion (Airborne) of the 506th Infantry, 101st Airborne Division. Committing early on the morning of January 31, 1968 to the Battle of Bien Hoa, Tiger Bravo participated as part of a 300 man reaction force. St. John will present his first hand experiences in a lecture entitled “Tiger Bravo - The Soldiers of B Company, 2/506th in the Tet Offensive." The talk will include details of the Viet Cong’s 5th Division attack of the Bien Hoa/Long Binh Complex, Allied counter measures to defend Bien Hoa Air Base, street fighting in Bien Hoa City, and the aftermath of the fighting, as told through personal accounts of paratroopers and St. John’s extensive research of battlefield documents and journals.

Visitors can further immerse themselves in Tet history as it comes to life in “The U.S. Army Soldier during Tet” living history program at the Vietnam Firebase on the Army Heritage Trail on Sunday, May 20th at 9:30 am. Re-enactors will portray a “boots on the ground” program about the Tet Offensive while outfitted in period gear, giving visitors an idea of the weapons and materials a Soldier would have carried during the offensive and the vehicles they would have used.

As always, Army Heritage Days will cover more than the Vietnam War, and will include portrayals from the Colonial Era to U.S. Army Current Operations by re-enactors stationed along the mile-long Army Heritage Trail. The Tank Obstacle Course will also be returning this year and will feature even more vehicles as drivers test their skills on a custom built course in front of the crowd. For a full schedule and more information, please visit or call 717-245-3972. Make sure to follow #CountdowntoAHD on our social media pages as more events are announced.

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