As the only museum in the country dedicated to collecting and preserving the stories, documents, photographs, and artifacts of the mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, and spouses of those who serve and have served in America’s military, the Museum of the American Military Family (MAMF)includes a permanent exhibition about the history of DoDEA since its founding and a collection of teacher-collected artifacts from around the world.
Founded by former DoDEA teacher and student, Circe Olson Woessner is the daughter of long-time DoDEA staffer and WWII veteran and is a military wife and mother and brings a realistic and enriching perspective to the unique challenges and achievements of military families.
Besides presenting permanent and revolving exhibits about the life style of military family members and the educators who support them, MAMF conducts town hall meetings about military and military veteran issues and interacts with a world-wide audience through a variety of social media and through a series of audio and video podcasts.
MAMF has been recognized in each of the past three years with Awards of Excellence by the American Association of State and Local History including an Albert Corey Award for exceptionally distinguished programming. It is affiliated with the American Alliance of Museums, the New Mexico Association of Museums, and the Museum Collaborative Council of Albuquerque.
MAMF’s Operation Footlocker is a mini mobile museum treasure chest of memories donated by military families, military brats, and teachers from the overseas schools of the Defense Department. The fleet of eight footlockers travels around the USA – to brat functions, to schools, to libraries, to teacher and military reunions – anywhere people gather who want to learn more about the military family experience.
Dr. Woessner is now looking forward to next October and the 75th anniversary of the establishments of DoDEA schools around the world. She is planning to publish an anthology of stories by teachers, past and present, about their unique experiences teaching and working in civilian-type schools on military installations throughout the States and around the world. Through DoDEA and MAMF websites, she will issue a call for stories along with guidelines for submission in October 2020.
MAMF has already published a series of such anthologies: War Child, a collection of stories by adults who grew up as children in a war zone; Front Lines to the Homefront, stories by adults reflecting on their experiences in or around war; On Freedom’s Frontier: Life on the Fulda Gap, stories by veterans and family members who lived and worked along one of the world’s most sensitive potential battlegrounds.
Their anthology SHOUT! Sharing our Truth, by LGBTQ+ veterans and veteran family members about their service in the military before and after Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, has been produced as a play performed in Richmond, Virginia, and scheduled for performances in San Francisco and Providence next year. MAMF has also turned the anthology into a documentary film.
Visit website www.militaryfamilymuseum.org to learn more about MAMF and what it is doing to honor military families and the schools that serve them and to provide a place for scholars to learn the history of the millions of families who have also “served” our country.