Here’s something you don’t see on farms too often: a World War II-era halftrack, an 8” howitzer and a 2½-ton truck (known by GIs everywhere as a “deuce-and-a-half”), all vintage U.S. Army equipment. They are Lester Langeland’s tribute to America’s veterans.
“Traveling to Russia and China made me think about everything we have in this country,” says Langeland. “I thought, gosh, our veterans did a lot for us.”
Langeland purchased the halftrack from a dealer, after it had performed fire service duty for the Natural Resources Conservation Service. He purchased the howitzer from a veterans’ organization, which decided to stop displaying the deactivated gun because of the cost of liability insurance.
He had each item repainted and commissioned appropriate signs honoring America’s veterans. Officially retired, Lester spends most days helping sons Marlin and Merle on the family farm near Coopersville, Mich.