Living History

The 509th Parachute Infantry Battalion WWII Living History Group was founded in 1999 by its current commanding officer, Captain Gary Fox, to honor the exploits of this highly decorated but little known paratroop unit. Unit membership consists of men from all walks of life including teaching, computers and technology, art, machinery, medicine, law enforcement, firefighting, and more. Several members also have prior military service, one who served with the 509th in the 1980s.

We honor and pay tribute to all individuals who serve our nation with dedication to duty, self-sacrifice, and courage, triumphant in the cause of freedom.

Why We Do What We Do: One reenactors story

“. . . After the battle on Sunday, I ran up to the spectator line to hand some shell casings to some kids, when I saw an older gentleman sitting in a wheel chair. He motioned me to come over to him and he congratulated me on a good show.

His wife standing behind him said he was a veteran of the Battle of the Bulge. He shook his head and I think my heart started pounding. I was in awe. I held out my hand to the man and said, ‘Thank you for everything sir, and God bless you.’ His gaze turned to my M-1 Carbine and he motioned to hold it. I pulled back the bolt to make sure it was clear and handed it over to him. He sat and stated at it for a while. He then said, ‘God I lived with this for a long time,” shaking his head.

Then his wife bent down and said, ‘You don’t have to anymore.’ The man started to cry. ‘Ouch,’ I thought. He handed the gun back to me and sobbed. Then his son asked if he could shoot a picture of a couple of reenactors in including myself saluting his father. We go into a tight line and in unison we saluted . . . If there was one thing that I got out of the whole weekend, it was spending three minutes with that veteran. He helped me understand. It made me understand the responsibility that we have to truly honor one of the ‘greatest generations.’ That moment with stay with me for a long time.”

-Christopher Cundiff

  • Interested in joining?

    If you are interested in honoring the men of the 509th and veterans alike, please contact us or talk with a member at our next event.

    Start up costs can run between $300 and $500 initially. You do not need to own everything to get started in the field as many guys have extra equipment and weapons to borrow until you can buy your own gear.