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(035) Trust Is Key To Authentic Reenacting

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“One thing that a lot of people who do reenacting or military living history don’t understand is the guys are tight; you know how each other think, you know how each other react to things.”



Our Guest today is Scott Todd Dunkirk. Scott was born in Kankakee, ILL and raised near Tyner, Indiana. He Enlisted United States Air Force served from 1984 to 2011, retired from 161st Air Refueling Wing, trained as an aircraft mechanic, aircraft electrician and environmental specialist on the aircraft and also worked on the engines. Presently Scott works on the Auxiliary power unit build up with Honeywell engines in Phoenix, AZ. He is Certified as an interpretive guide through the National Association for Interpreters.


Scott has re-enacted in most of the major wars at various points in his life. Scott got burned out from just reenacting combat life. At the suggestion of his wife, he started doing living history focusing on what he knows best, being an aircraft mechanic. He formed the Arizona Ground Crew in 2006 with other like minded living historians. In 2008 the Arizona Ground Crew ran the first Bomber Camp in Stockton California.




One of Scott’s favorite events is doing a living history barracks up in Utah at a decommissioned Air Base. The best part is hearing from the living veterans that they got it right, that they got the whole experience right down to the smells. It is an honor for Scott and his crew to be able to put on a living history display that is a living memorial to the men who served in WWII.


One of the challenges Scott faces is timing when getting to an event. Arriving late or having limited setup time can throw your whole group off for the entire event. Sometimes it’s hard to plan for what life will throw at you. The more people and equipment you’re trying to move the harder it is. But it is worth it when you get to set up a realistic display with all the accouterment for your period.




Scott and I discuss the trust and depth of relationships developed in reenacting and in the military. For anyone in living history, it is a challenge to explain that trust and how well a community knew one another. For many modern people, it is a foreign concept to be able to fully trust the people they interact with on a regular basis.


One of Scott’s jobs is working with the event coordinator to determine what is expected of the crew to help make the event great. The best way for a site to take care of a ground crew is to caring for the simple things, electricity, buildings, water, ice, and bathrooms. These simple things seem basic, but they make it so much easier to set up and be in top shape for an event.


Scott’s best advice for anyone planning an event is to do your research on what you want and what the groups you’re inviting have to offer. You can learn a lot from looking at a group’s pictures, videos, and info. Use that info to put different groups strengths to work for you.


“The difficult we do immediately, the impossible takes a little longer.”




Links from today’s Show


Phone: 602-717-0258

Email: sdunkirk at yahoo dot com


National Association for Interpreters:


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About the author, Allison

Allison has been working and playing in history for the last 12 years. Her passion is helping to create fantastic events and bringing the hidden stories in history to light.

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