Ken Glasson pushes an old telephone pole through a battlefield at Mount Pleasant Paintball to create a fence. Most materials used at the paintball park are recycled.
Ken Glasson may have found the perfect recipe for making history lessons fun.
Glasson opened Mount Pleasant Paintball this past Saturday with an emphasis on the paintball experience being a fun, yet educational, teaching point for participants.
“We need to let them (children) know what our past was all about, so we're not the fools who fall on the same sword twice,” Glasson said Friday afternoon while making final preparations around the site.
Glasson is active in the Mount Pleasant community, serving as a town councilman and coaching football, soccer and lacrosse for the Mount Pleasant Recreation Department. He is a retired Marine Lieutenant Colonel with 31 years and six months of service. He retired nearly two years ago.
Glasson served as an infantry officer, a reconnaissance Marine and an intelligence officer during duties in the Persian Gulf, Kosovo and the Global War on Terror.
He said the United States is failing to uphold the core values that created this country, so one of his goals is to hire military veterans to manage the business and continue to hire should Mount Pleasant Paintball expand.
The paintball site, located at 2637 Clements Ferry Road, features different playing areas designed to replicate historical battles. Participants can play while learning about the Battle of Khafji, landing at Normandy Beach, trenches of World War I, Battle of Fredericksburg, Battle of Allanbrook and jungle warfare of Vietnam.
“By the time they leave here, they'll know about these wars,” Glasson said. He also plans to bring in local war heroes to speak with participants. Paintball guns may not be military combat weapons, but the courses are designed to show tribulations of war and encourage strategy. “In order to be successful out here, you need to work together,” he said.
“If a kid mows down 500 people in a video game, there's no consequences,” Glasson said. “If somebody tries to come in here and shoot up the place, there will be consequences.”
The full mission statement, as posted on Mount Pleasant Paintball's website, is: “to educate people of all ages – especially our youth – about battles our country has fought, to honor our veterans through employment and the opportunity to teach our next generation, and to learn teamwork, camaraderie and Esprit De Corps in a safe outdoor activity.”
Participants compete in a capture-the-flag environment. The person who secures the battlefield's flag will earn a badge and a promotion in rank.
For more information, visit mountpleasantpaintball.com or call 696-9930 to make an appointment. To view photos of the paintball park, click here.