East Mountain Veteran/Family Collaborative partners with the National Veteran’s Intermediary; hosts community events 

By Circe Olson Woessner

The East Mountain Veteran/Family Collaborative, hosted at the Museum of the American Military Family & Learning Center in Tijeras, has become one of nearly 100 local community partners nation-wide that make up the National Veterans Intermediary (NVI). The NVI is an initiative of the Bob Woodruff Foundation.  

The East Mountain Veteran/Family Collaborative is comprised of representatives from veterans’ service organizations, business leaders, clinicians and educators working together to support veterans and their families through education, networking and community awareness. 

Locally, the collaborative will sponsor quarterly military/family community resource events, military spouse monthly luncheons, “lunch and learns,” and other workshops, as well as focusing on, and addressing, the concerns of rural veterans. Nationally, the collaborative will engage as a member of a larger ecosystem working collectively to improve the lives of veterans and their families. 

Air Force veteran Harold Murphree joined the collaborative because he wondered if his fellow East Mountain veterans shared the same concerns he did, and if, so, how could he help them. WWII/Occupation Army veteran Allen Dale Olson says he’s involved because the collaborative has the potential to unite community members and their resources in resolving common concerns and helping civilians see the uniqueness of military family life. Psychologist Natalie Williamson saysshe wants to give back to the community to honor and uphold the legacy of her brother SSGT Miguel Gonzales Jr. “He dedicated his life to protecting and serving God, Country, and all people. I know that if Miguel was alive today, he would say ‘you done good sis’.” 

The East Mountain Veteran/Family Collaborative will be hosting a military/family and community resource day at the museum on Thursday, August 22 from 11:00-4:00. Local veteran organizations, Department of Veteran’s Services representatives, the Children’s Grief Center of New Mexico, the New Mexico Grief Center, Albuquerque Public Schools, and local businesses and voter registration will be on site. This event is free and open to the public. 

The Museum is located at 546B State Highway 333, Tijeras, NM 87059. For more information about the collaborative or the resource day, contact the museum at 505-504-6830.