Mandy's friend Shaz invited us to Military Odyssey 2008, the largest historical military re-enactment in the world. All I can say is WOW. Shaz's speciality is the American Civil War, but there was something for everyone - diving spitfires, WW1, Indians, French, NAZI Germany.
The best part was that the event is so large, in many cases, the different roles were played by people, often ex military, from the country they meant to represent. Many of the French soldiers really were French, the Russians were Russian, and the Germans were actually German, and the Australians were Australian.
Of course, everyone is a volunteer - you dont have to play a French soldier if you are French, you can be whoever you want. Everyone is welcome to be part of the fun.
For the participants, the re-enactment does not end after the last visitors leave. They get to enjoy a few days of life, as it actually was for the people they play. The dedication to authenticity is impressive, but more impressive is what a good time everyone had.