Kid History by Dhruv Amitabh

American War Time Experience Holds Open House at Nokesville Tank Farm

Visitors can interact with dozens of tanks from WWI to present times


Millions of men and women have sacrificed everything dear to them to defend our country in times of need. They have left their family and friends at the door to become the strong fighting arm of our nation. The younger generations must know the struggles that these extraordinary people went through to ensure our safety, security, freedom, and the world we live in today. That is why the Americans in Wartime Experience Museum, or AWE is being established.

In the late 80s, a man by the name of Allan Cors was on a trip to Europe. As he was walking, he saw a military jeep and decided to buy it. Cors continued to collect military vehicles and equipment. He realized he needed more space to store them, so Cors acquired a farm along Aiden Road in Nokesville. That is how the concept of AWE was born, explained Dennis G. Brant, the CEO of The Americans in Wartime Experience Museum. In 2007, Cors opened The Americans in Wartime Experience on the property. He made it official, forming a board. Today Cors is the founding Chairman of The Americans in Wartime Experience, and Brant runs the operation, which hosts visits and programs.

While the facility is not fully open to the public, it is holding its annual open house on Aug. 26 and 27 at the Tank Farm in Nokesville, Virginia from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The large-scale event is an opportunity for the public to explore the grounds, and it helps the AWE raise funds for the completion of its expanded project.

According to Brant, the open house will provide hands-on experiences for visitors as they can crawl inside of vehicles, watch rehearsed tank runs and listen as volunteers provide background on the vehicles. They can also take tank rides, sitting inside the vehicles just as soldiers did on the battlefields. The Marine Corps will even showcase a battalion advancement, including a reenactment of a town being commandeered within a warzone.

The compound showcased several notable tanks last year, including the third tank ever built in America, and some of the most advanced models ever used in battle. The event even featured military vehicles from Russia, Yugoslavia, Israel, and Germany.

The AWE committee has invited veterans who will talk about their experiences, sharing personal stories from the battlefield. Last year, Medal of Honor recipient General James E. Livingston spoke about his experience in Vietnam.

While open houses provide a sneak preview, Brant explained the AWE will be even more impressive once completed. It will provide an immersive experience year-round on 70 areas of recreational battlefield exhibits. Its outdoor museum will contain more than 150 tanks and other tactical vehicles used in major world conflicts. Indoors, there will be multiple film theaters, leadership classes and exhibits. It will also display huge replicas of modern battlefields. For example, the World War I section will be full of trenches modeled upon the European frontlines.

There will be purely recreational activities that will interest both adults and children, such as ziplines, rope courses, rock climbing and more. The military amusement park will also include a 70-acre mountain biking trail. Brant said the idea was to have something that would appeal to everyone.

To help the AWE complex become a reality, visitors can send donations to the AWE website, or provide a donation while attending the open house on Aug. 26 and 27.  It will be an eye-opener for all age groups to learn about history through the immersive experience of this one-of-a-kind war museum. To attend the open house, you can register on the website.

Details on the open house are listed below:

Date: Aug 26, 2023, to Aug 27, 2023

Time: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 

Location: Tank Farm, 13906 Aden Road, Nokesville, VA 20181