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.


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!



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.


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.*


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:





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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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




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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Home Front Salute: May

By Circe Olson Woessner

Although May is often described as the “merry month of”– if you are military, this happy month has its somber side.

The Friday before Mother’s Day is Military Spouse Appreciation Day, and in this year’s proclamation, President Obama said, “We honor the spouses of those who have left behind everything they know and love to join our Nation’s unbroken chain of patriots, and we recommit to giving military spouses the respect, dignity, and support they deserve.”

That sentiment is appreciated—

Because of their unconventional lifestyle, many military spouses become independent and self-reliant.

Marine wife Stacy Marinaro recalls, “I remember a particular bad deployment. I was strong and silent and didn’t shed a tear at the bus depot while the buses carrying all our beloved, brave men drove off. I remember other wives mad at me that I didn’t cry. Well, it was my 4th time after all. My Family Readiness Officer came to my aid and stood up for me saying, that it was ‘ok that she’s not crying because she is a seasoned wife’. I kind of liked that term.”

Many military spouses are also mothers, and they deftly maneuver their families through unique conditions.

Military daughter Marilyn describes her mother fondly, “My mom was a WWII vintage, hauling kids from one end of the earth to the other, birthing children overseas, in dusty, remote duty stations, jungles and frozen tundra. Enduring seasickness, inoculations for God-knows-how-many exotic diseases, keeping our shot records, school records, silk kimonos, pets, bicycles, treasured toys (despite household goods weight restrictions—some of her stuff had to be left behind; it wasn’t nearly as important as her kids’ stuff).”

James Kenderdine remembers his mom’s courage, “My mother did not take the Army’s offer of evacuation during the Berlin Airlift (1948-49). She said, ‘I can stay the winter, no matter how bad it is.’ Watching her learn to shoot an MI carbine was fantastic, and to this day, I can still clearly see the image of her carbine, with a 20 round clip in it, round in the chamber, hanging by its sling next to her and dad’s bed.

This year, on May 8th, Victory in Europe Day, generally known as V-E Day, fell on Mother’s Day. This day traditionally marks the end of World War II in Europe, and is both somber and joyful.

On the home front, anxious families eagerly awaited the arrival of their loved ones.

A WWII wife describes her husband’s homecoming to their small New Mexico pueblo, “We didn’t know he was coming. He took the bus from Albuquerque and got off on the highway behind the hill. Our two children were outside playing, and our six-year daughter saw him and went running to her dad, but the littlest one ran away. I guess he didn’t know his dad.”

In 1949, Louis Johnson, the then US Secretary of Defense, announced the creation of an Armed Forces Day to replace separate Army, Navy and Air Force Days. It was a time to pay tribute to men and women who serve in the United States’ armed forces.

It was that sentiment that had Vietnam veteran, Larry “Wolfman” Hurtado, create a Memorial honoring two of his friends who died in Vietnam. Located in the town of Bernalillo, the Sandoval County Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial consists of a high wall listing the names of New Mexico veterans, many who have paid the ultimate price. The memorial is a special place– a place for reflection, a place to hold ceremonies, to honor the dead, the missing, and Hurtado has built it with support from other veterans, friends and schoolmates. He is proud of the grass roots involvement in the project.

Currently, the Museum of the American Military Family is creating a memorial to honor 400 years of American Military Families’ service to America. Fundraising is underway and we plan to unveil it in the fall of 2016. (You can see more information on our website about this initiative.)

This Memorial Day, make it a point to go to one of the many local ceremonies happening across New Mexico and reflect on the true meaning of the day. As the names on the wall are read, or the somber music plays, remember the sacrifices of our service members –and those of the mothers and fathers, spouses, sons, and daughters, who loved and supported their loved ones—and lost them too soon.


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