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It’s SOS time!

Those who have been in the militaria hobby for some time, know that “SOS” is the acronym for the Ohio Valley Military Society’s annual Show of Shows. Held each year in Louisville, Kentucky, at the Kentucky Exposition Center, the SOS has emerged as the largest all militaria show in North America. With dealers and attendees from around the world, the SOS has become a veritable point of pilgrimage.

This year, it is held a bit later than normal, on March 5-8, 2009 (normally it falls somewhere around my personal celebration of Battle of Buena Vista Days, February 22-23). If you need info on the show, check out pages 41 and 45 of the February 2009 issue of Military Trader, or log on to the OVMS’ web site at

BTW, I called the Hilton Garden and as of February 6, they still had rooms left. Be sure to let them know you are going to the SOS for a special room rate --around $120 for a king. Their contact info:

Hilton Garden Inn Louisville Airport

2735 Crittenden Drive, Louisville, Kentucky, USA 40209


Naturally, I will be at the SOS as will Trader’s main ad guy, Tom Polzer. With any luck navigating my computer, I plan to post daily reports and pics to this blog from the SOS. I suspect they won’t be all that exciting, but you might get a chance to read some of the gossip or see some of the cool things that are available. So, if you aren’t able to make it to Louisville, just bookmark the JAG File and come back to see what’s going on.

I have a few goals when I go to the SOS: First and foremost, I visit the grave of General Zachary Taylor, the Hero of the Battle of Buena Vista. He is buried in Louisville at the National Cemetery. Second, I eat LOTS of BBQ. I found a great little local place that serves BBQ the way I like it: heaped on a Styrofoam plate and with plenty of paper towels. And finally, the relics! This year, I will be pounding the floor looking for quality AEF Tank Corps items and WWI real photo postcards. Of course, there tends to be other items that seem to grab my attention from the floor that I never dreamed I would find. That’s the beauty of the SOS.

For example, last year, I came home with Belgian WWI Garde Civique Hat. I know, that doesn’t excite too many people, but the Garde Civique were the equivalent of militia units. They were some of the first military formations to stand in the path of the invading German soldiers in August 1914. I certainly hadn’t planned to buy something like that, but at the SOS, you have to be ready for anything.

So there you have it: JAG’s SOS goals: 1.) AEF Tank Corps stuff, 2.) WWI real photo postcards, 3.) serious levels of BBQ ingestion and 4.) a visit with my personal hero, Old Rough & Ready.

Here’s your chance to do a little pre-SOS advertising...what are YOU going to be looking for at the SOS? Post your comments and maybe somebody will see your wants and bring that special item to the SOS especially for you---ya never know!

Okay, back to making magazines...gotta pay for these expensive collecting and eating habits.

Keep finding the good stuff,
Editor, Military Trader and Military Vehicles Magazine

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