2016 –A Year of Change!

Looking back at the past year, I am so amazed at what our small, but mighty, board has accomplished. As the Director of the Museum, I was honored to be asked to write a monthly military family-oriented column for the Kirtland Air Force Base Nucleus.

We began 2016 in our rented space on the second floor of the Bataan Military Academy, and some of the girls from 66 Pinups and Heels did a photoshoot in MAMF and that resulted in some pretty spectacular photos with the girls and a mention in a magazine not usually associated with museums.

In February, some of our board met up with Joe Condrill, founder of the Overseas Brats organization, as he hosted a regional get-together in Cervantes restaurant in Albuquerque. We made some new local Brat acquaintances and caught up with old friends.

As a Vietnam Commemorative Partner, along with the VA Medical Center in Albuquerque, we hosted a program, Heroes & Hueys. We honored our Vietnam Veterans and showed the film, In the Shadow of the Blade. Speakers included Lt. Governor John Sanchez, Secretary Jack Fox, General Andrew Salas, VA Medical Center Andrew Welch and MAMF Operations Director Joseph Baca. The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department flew in its Huey helicopter and landed it on the parade grounds at VA. MAMF board members passed out commemorative pins and sprigs of rosemary “for remembrance”.

In May, we supported our board member Jan as she rode all the way across the country-from California to Washington DC, as part of Run For the Wall and join Rolling Thunder on Memorial Day. She took one of our Flat Stellas with her and posed with lots of wonderful people all across America. In conjunction with RFTW, we showed the film, Stray Dog, at the South Broadway Cultural Center. Over the summer, I became the Midway Route Coordinator for the New Mexico leg of RFTW. It is a huge responsibility, and I could not do it alone, so I have a great team in Jan, Bill, Dean and Firecracker helping—as well as all the folks involved in RFTW across the country.

Board members Joe Baca and Lisa Pino represented MAMF at the Memorial Day ceremony at the Sandoval County Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial, and my husband and I went up to Angel Fire to attend the ceremony up there.

In June, we moved our museum to a new location in Tijeras, NM. Tijeras is about 7 miles east of Albuquerque and is where Route 66 and scenic byway NM 14 intersect. Our museum is right next to New Mexico landmark Molly’s Bar. In fact, our museum is in the former home of Molly, the bar’s founder. During her life, Molly was a vibrant figure in the community and as a Justice of the Peace, conducted weddings in her home—our current building.

We continued Molly’s tradition of hosting meaningful, happy ceremonies in her home by hosting a naturalization ceremony in October. 7 Military spouses became US Citizens in our museum in a moving ceremony. Local businesses provided refreshments and decorations. We plan to host more of these ceremonies in the future.

We added many artifacts to our collection—we received hundreds of artifacts from various DODDS schools and a fabulous collection of memorabilia spanning four decades from a former DOD teacher. We acquired quite a few books for our library, and many locals in the Tijeras area have been dropping off family items to display.

In the fall, we hosted the Patriot Ride motorcycle run, as well as some disaster preparedness workshops. We started our “Mid-Month Movies” series. It will continue throughout 2017 with a different movie each month.

On November 5, we opened our fourth exhibit, GI Jokes: A (Somewhat) Light-hearted Look at Military Life. It was hosted at the Albuquerque Special Collections library. Up for a month, it closed in early December.

Fellow University of Maryland Munich Campus (UMMC) alum Alexander George and I edited a compilation of memories from dozens of students who attended the UMMC. Proceeds from the book, Eins, Zwei, G’Suffa: Memories from Munich Campus will go to the Museum.

MAMF Writer-in-Residence Paul Zolbrod worked with veterans, active duty, and military family to compile stories for the museum’s anthology From the Frontlines to the Home Front: New Mexicans Reflect on War. Thanks to a grant from New Mexico Humanities Council, in early 2017, the museum will host reading and discussion groups throughout New Mexico.

On November 10th, MAMF’s military family memorial was delivered to its location in Santa Fe, and Paul Silva, our special projects “guru” will begin to convert it into a wonderful tribute to military families. Veteran artist Dominic Ruiz created panels for the project, using photos submitted from hundreds of military families.

 As a board, we met formally quarterly, and, informally, almost daily in our special Facebook Group.

In recapping our events, I hope that you, the reader, will appreciate what we do, and will support us as we start the new year. Without continued monetary support, we will have to curtail the programming and exhibits we have become known for.

There are many ways to support us: sign up for Amazon Smile, or Smith’s Rewards. Use Goodsearch as your search engine or donate money through our GoFundMe account. Buy a copy of Eins, Zwei, G’Suffa or download our military brat inspired Christmas song, graciously recorded by the Winsor Trio. Proceeds from the download will go towards helping us fund a summer media camp for teens in 2017. We always appreciate receiving a check in the mail or a having a new member sign up. We also have the “Buck a Brat” fundraiser through the end of 2016 to raise money to buy metal dandelion sculptures for the memorial.

There are so many ways to help MAMF—and any contribution, big or small, will be appreciated so very much. All of our programming is free to the public and as is admission to our museum—but in order to pay the rent and keep the lights on, we depend on people to help us achieve this.

Upcoming Events for 2017 (Funding dependent):

  • February: Winterfest in Angel Fire
  • Dedication of Military Family Memorial
  • March/April: From Fatigues to Flags: Transformational Papermaking Workshops
  • May/June: Host Nation Hospitality exhibit about food and tourism in Japan, France and Germany
  • Fall/Winter: Schooling with Uncle Sam: One Teacher’s Travels exhibit under consideration
  • Also:
    Creation of SHOUT-an anthology of LGBTQ Service members and their Families
  • Media Summer Camp with Media Artist in Residence Jose Ponce

So as we end 2016 and look towards 2017, we are hopeful and resolved in our mission of telling the stories of America’s Military Families.

On behalf of MAMF, we wish you a happy, prosperous and safe 2017.

 

 

 

 

A Busy Three Days

November 10th and 11th were very busy for the museum! On the 10th, our Memorial house was delivered to Santa Fe, where Paul Silva, our Projects Manager will begin to transform it into a fitting tribute to Military Families.

On the 11th, our friends at UPS moved a shipment of artifacts from AOSHS, an archive in Wichita, Kansas to be housed at MAMF as a special collection.

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Also on the 11th, Director Circe and her husband attended the Sandoval County Vietnam Veterans Memorial Veterans Day celebration.

And on the 12th MAMF started its Dandelion Challenge! Stay tuned for more info!

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GI JOKES: A SOMEWHAT LIGHTHEARTED LOOK AT MILITARY LIFE opened in Albuquerque

GI JOKES runs from 11/5/2016-12/2/2016 at Albuquerque’s Special Collections Library . MAMF Spouse Liaison Stacy and MAMF Director Circe set it up on November 4th.

The exhibit opened to the public on November 5th. After it closes, it will be available to travel and then it will be on display in the Museum of the American Military Family& Learning Center’s permanent location.

 

We’d like to thank our sponsors: Dominic Ruiz Graphics, Buzzy’s Stickers, Total Learning Curve Books, Comic Warehouse, Kaufman’s West, Rio Grande Credit Union…we so appreciate you.

A Bit about MAMF & Route 66

A little bit about Route 66 and Tijeras, where our museum is located.

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U.S. Route 66 also known as the “Will Rogers Highway”, the “Main Street of America” or the “Mother Road”, was one of the original highways within the U.S. Highway System. It was established in 1926. It originated in Chicago, Illinois, and ran through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona before ending at Santa Monica, California, covering a total of 2,448 miles (3,940 km).

US 66 served as a major path for those who migrated west, especially during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, and the road supported the economies of the communities through which it passed. US 66 underwent many improvements and realignments over its lifetime, and it was officially removed from the United States Highway System in 1985, after it had been replaced in its entirety by segments of the Interstate Highway System.

US 66 covered 380 miles (610 km) in New Mexico and passed through many Indian reservations in the western half of the State. East of those reservations, the highway passed through Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Las Vegas. As in Arizona, in New Mexico, U.S. 66 paralleled I-40.

Portions of the road that passed through Illinois, Missouri, New Mexico, and Arizona have been designated a National Scenic Byway of the name “Historic Route 66”, which is returning to some maps.

Musical Highway

In October 2014, the village of Tijeras gained national attention for a nearby “musical road”, a two-lane stretch of U.S. Highway 66 with grooves in the roadway (rumble strips) arranged to cause the sounds of the song “America the Beautiful” to be heard when vehicles drive on it at 45 mph.

Tijeras is the southern gateway to the Turquoise Trail and the mountain communities along its path. Two canyons come together at Tijeras, the Spanish name for scissors. Tijeras Canyon, leads west towards Albuquerque, and Cedro Canyon, leads south to the Manzano Mountains as The Salt Mission Trail. The area was first inhabited by pueblo Indians, living in a pueblo whose ruins can be seen behind the US Forest Service station. Stop at the Cibola National Forest headquarters, one mile south of Tijeras on NM 337 for information and brochures on the area’s recreational opportunities. Visit Tijeras Pueblo Archaeological Site behind the office. Tijeras is dotted with shops, cafes and access to hiking trails.*

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Military Family Museum in Tijeras, New Mexico

THE MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN MILITARY FAMILY & LEARNING CENTER (MAMF) is located next to the famous landmark, Molly’s Bar, at 546 B State Highway 333. It opened its doors to the public on July 9 2016.

MAMF, founded in 2011 as an all-volunteer not-for-profit organization, is a Vietnam War Commemoration Partner and a partner in the development of the New Mexico National Guard Heritage Center. It manages Operation Footlocker, a mini mobile exhibit that circulates throughout the United States to help honor military children and their families.

*Most of this information came from Wikipedia

 

Some other links:

http://www.newmexico.org/listing/?lid=32589

http://www.historic66.com/

http://rt66nm.org/

 

MAMF’s Summer News

The Museum of the American Military Family & Learning Center (MAMF) had a very eventful summer. On July 9, we had a ribbon cutting and opened the doors to very own space right next to the very famous Molly’s Bar.img_0415

We are happy to be part of the vibrant East Mountain community—our home in Tijeras is right on historic Route 66 and at the foot of the Turquoise Trail, a National Scenic Byway.

We had a large crowd at our grand opening: Senator Heinrich’s New Mexico office sent a representative who read a personal message from the Senator, Gloria Chavez, the Mayor of Tijeras, also made some remarks. Kirtland Air Force Base was represented, as was the Veteran community. We are very blessed to have such great support.

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Welcome to MAMF! We are so glad you're here

Welcome to MAMF! We are so glad you’re here

On July 21st, our board had its quarterly meeting, and we said goodbye to our Veteran Liaison, Elisabeth Sacco, who was moving back East. Our board is very involved in all of MAMF’s projects, and we went over the upcoming summer’s events and coordinated our schedules to include staffing the museum.

On August 3rd, MAMF Secretary/Public Affairs Ole represented MAMF at an Ernie Pyle Day planning meeting at the New Mexico Veteran’s Memorial. The Ernie Pyle Day is planning commemorative events in Albuquerque for 2017, and we will be participating.

On August 6, MAMF Director Circe, Spouse Liaison Stacy and Community Liaison Lisa took Operation Footlocker out to the Route 66 Run, Rally and Rock festival in Edgewood. MAMF Volunteers Jude and Ed staffed the museum for the day. Writer in Residence Paul dropped by and shared his extensive knowledge of history and literature with visitors.

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On August 7 Circe and her husband Bill drove up to Santa Fe and met with representatives from the National Guard to pick out a location for the Military Family Memorial that MAMF is creating. It was determined that a spot right in front of the Bataan Military Museum would be perfect.

On August 31, Circe and Ole spoke to New Mexico Legislators at a special interim committee session at Central New Mexico College. The presentation was well received.

September 6th Ole was on the “Veterans Today” radio show on KVSF. He spoke to radio host Chris Abeyta about our need for help in constructing the Military Family Memorial as well as our soon-to-be released anthology, From the Frontlines to the Home Front: New Mexicans Reflect on War.

On September 16, MAMF hosted a Naturalization Ceremony for seven military wives who became US Citizens right in our “home”. Because September 16 is also POW/MIA Day and Constitution Day, the ceremony was especially meaningful. The guest speaker was military wife Mehreen Naqvi-Sharazee, herself a naturalized US citizen. Triangle Grocery in Cedar Crest provided a cake and Melba’s Floral Studios in Albuquerque created a gorgeous floral display and provided us with long-stemmed yellow roses for each new citizen.

On September 24, 35 motorcyclists dropped by MAMF as part of their Patriot Run, a fund-raiser for Run For the Wall and for the Sandoval County Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial.

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On September 29 Ole and Circe attended the New Mexico Arts and the Military Arts/Humanities Round Table hosted by New Mexico Arts. Many artists, members of the New Mexico state government, representatives for the VA, and other service organizations participated.

Fall is here, and the museum is gearing up for a busy couple of months—we have an exhibit: GI Jokes: A Somewhat Lighthearted Look at Military Life opening on November 5th at the Special Collections Library at 423 Central NE in Albuquerque. Comic Warehouse and Kaufman’s West are sponsors of the exhibit. Paul, our Writer-in-Residence has just finished editing an anthology: From the Frontlines to the Home Front: New Mexicans Reflect on War. Our museum will be hosting reading/discussion groups using this book, which will not be for sale commercially. The book will debut around November 11. Stay tuned for dates and locations for the book groups.

Director Circe and Alexander George, both University of Maryland, Munich Campus alumni, have co-edited an anthology Eins, Zwei, G’Suffa: Memories from Munich Campus which is the third book in a series of memoirs. All proceeds from the book will go to support programming at the Museum of the American Military Family.

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MAMF will also sponsor “mid-month movies”, a series of three WWII films generously donated by the WWII Foundation for MAMF to show. The first will be on October 15th at the Museum at 3:00 PM.

The most important project MAMF is working on is the creation of a memorial honoring military families-all generations and branches. It is slated to be placed in Santa Fe this November —fundraising is ongoing to bring this important memorial to fruition. The museum needs only $5,000 more to complete the project. Please help. All donations are appreciated…and donors will be acknowledged on the memorial signage.

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Looking forward to 2017, MAMF plans two exhibits:
Host Nation Hospitality (May-June)and Passports and Pedagogy: One Teacher’s Travels (TBD) as well as a couple of transformative papermaking workshops in February/March.

All programs and exhibits are brought to the public free of charge and so MAMF depends on the generosity of individual donations and grants. Please consider a tax free donation to the Museum of the American Military Family an all-volunteer run 501 c 3 non-profit. To donate, please click here

Or send a check to:

Museum of the American Military Family

PO Box 5085

Albuquerque, NM 87185
 

 

Navy Week Activities in Albuquerque

Navy Week Albuquerque Kickoff Ceremony
When: Mon, September 12, 10:30am – 11:30am
Where: New Mexico Veterans Memorial, 1100 Louisiana Blvd SE, Albuquerque, NM (map)
Description: Come spend the morning with YOUR U.S. Navy to kickoff Navy Week Albuquerque at the New Mexico Veterans Memorial! Event will include Navy Divers, Navy Band Northwest, USS Constitution Sailors, Navy Recruiters, Navy Medicine Ambassadors, Navy Operational Support Center and NROTC midshipmen from the University of New Mexico. Also, Rear Admiral Phillip Sawyer will speak.

RADM Sawyer Speaking at Rotary Club of Albuquerque
When: Mon, September 12, 12pm – 1pm
Where: Hotel Albuquerque, 800 Rio Grande Blvd NW, Albuquerque, NM (map)
Description: Rear Admiral Phillip Sawyer, Deputy Commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet, will speak at the Rotary Club of Albuquerque.

Navy Divers at the Boys & Girls Club (Seligman Branch)
When: Mon, September 12, 3:30pm – 5:30pm
Where: Seligman Branch, 3333 Truman NE, Albuquerque, NM (map)
Description: Come hang out with Navy Divers and their gear at the Seligman Branch of the Boys and Girls Club in Albuquerque.

USS Constitution, USS Albuquerque and Navy Medicine Ambassadors at Schumann Branch of the Boys and Girls Club
When: Mon, September 12, 3:30pm – 5:30pm
Where: Schumann Branch, 4600 Sundt Road, Rio Rancho, NM (map)
Description: Sailors from USS Constitution, USS Albuquerque and Navy Medicine Ambassadors will be sharing their stories with kids at the Schumann Branch of the Boys and Girls Club in Albuquerque.

Navy Band Popular Music Group Concert
When: Mon, September 12, 6pm – 7pm
Where: New Mexico Stafe Fair Pavilion Stage (map)
Description: Navy Band Northwest Popular Music Group will perform at the Pavilion Stage at the New Mexico State Fair.

Military/Veterans Appreciation Day at the New Mexico State Fair
When: Tue, September 13, 10:30am – 11:30am
Where: New Mexico Expo Pavilion Stage (map)
Description: The New Mexico State Fair honors the military and veterans during this event at the Expo Pavilion Stage.
» Read more

Recent Move Inspires Upcoming Programming

As we moved The Museum of the American Military Family into its new location in Tijeras, my husband mentioned the irony of moving a museum directly into the path of the raging Doghead Fire. I retorted that we might have to keep the U-Haul, which we’d rented for the museum move, to evacuate our home, which was also in potential danger.

 

As the fire neared our neighborhood, I walked around our house making a list of what I should take, and I photographed everything I could think of, just in case I needed to file a claim. At night, instead of sleeping, I mentally evacuated the museum.

 

Luckily, we didn’t have to evacuate anything, but the exercise made me realize how vulnerable we are—and how, as a military wife, it was so easy for me to determine what was necessary to salvage, and what was disposable. » Read more

MAMF Has Moved to its New Location on Route 66!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 21, 2016

For additional information: Dr. Circe Olson Woessner (505) 504-6830

 

THE MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN MILITARY FAMILY (MAMF) IS ON THE MOVE

 

Old Route 66 is getting a new tenant. The nation’s only museum dedicated to the mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, spouses, and other family members of those who serve and have served in America’s military is settling in at the I-40 interchange with Tijeras. Founder and Executive Director, Dr. Circe Olson Woessner, says the move is going well, “and we plan a grand opening at 3:30 p.m. on July 9.”

Till last summer, MAMF was an on-line presence, but last July set up temporarily in the Bataan Military Academy yet continued providing programs in various venues, to include Explora, the Balloon Museum, the National Nuclear Museum, the South Broadway Cultural Center, the Special Collections Library, the Veterans Memorial Park, schools, and patriotic ceremonies around the state. Its Operation Footlocker mobile exhibit program travels throughout the country and its Flat Stanley and Flat Stella programs follow military families around the world.

“Like everything we do,” Woessner said, “our move to Tijeras is done by volunteers. We are an all-volunteer entity with no paid staff, and our programs and classes are supported by grants, donors, and volunteers, and they’ve all been packing, carrying, unpacking, cleaning, and painting to get us ready to open next month. All of our Directors and Advisors are volunteers.”

Woessner said the new facility will have an artifacts/exhibit area, a library, a crafts room, and a gift shop. “We’re in a house,” she said; “the former home of Molly who established the historic destination bar bearing her name, so as visitors walk in they’ll see what could be the home of a military family that makes a new home every two or three years.”

Exhibition panels describe the various elements affecting family life in the military and the kinds of schools military children attend around the world.

“We’ll be open Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays,” she said, “and we’ll be free to the public.” She said there’s plenty of free parking and praised the attractiveness of the Tijeras Pass leading some seven miles east of Albuquerque along Old Route 66 (Central Avenue), including the “Musical Road.”

The Museum of the American Military Family (MAMF) is at 546 State Highway 333 (Old Route 66), Tijeras, NM 87059. Tel: (505) 504-6830; info@militaryfamilymuseum.org; P.O. Box 5085, Albuquerque, NM 87185. www.museumoftheamericanmilitaryfamily.org.

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