Military Museum in Tijeras, NM Celebrates 10th Anniversary with Call for Stories from Military Families

by Erica Asmus-Otero

The Museum of the American Military Family (MAMF), located in Tijeras, New Mexico – is celebrating its 10th anniversary in March 2021.

In celebration of the anniversary, the museum is asking military families, both active and retired, to submit a memory to the MAMF about their military service on a postcard or birthday card.

“We want to connect with families through their stories and cards but cannot have a big celebration out of an abundance of caution with the pandemic,” said museum founder and military family member, Circe Woessner.

Founded in 2011, the MAMF collects, preserves and displays memorabilia and nostalgic stories donated by military families, providing ongoing support through podcasts, books, and other mediums.

“Many Americans don’t understand the sacrifices that the families of service men and women make – how many times their families are uprooted, have to assimilate with new cultures and customs, make and lose friends, and change schools or jobs on a regular basis,” said Woessner. “The MAMF brings to life the stories of these families through their memorabilia, while providing a support network of families who can truly relate with the many challenges and emotions we’ve all experienced.”

Postcard and birthday cards will be accepted throughout the month of March and will be carefully curated in a commemorative 10th anniversary album and posted on the museum’s Facebook page: @MuseumoftheAmericanMilitaryFamily. Birthday greetings can be sent directly to: MAMF 546B State Highway 333 Tijeras, NM 87059.

FINDING THE THREAD THAT BINDS: TELLING YOUR STORY 

Cherie Avila, Museum Storyteller

I grew up in a military family. Both of my older brothers attended a military school for part of their schooling. Upon graduation, all three of us kids served in the military.  Although I only served for four years, both of my brothers retired from the military. Most of my high school years were in Korea. When I was a senior year in high school, my dad was transferred stateside. I spent my senior year in Maryland longing to be back with my friends in Korea. When it was time for college, I applied to one university. The one university that I knew a friend from Korea was attending.  When I left the Army and chose the civilian career of a teacher, I did not initially realize the uniqueness of being an Army Brat. Over the years I have told friends about being raised in a military family, moving every few years, living in different countries and many states, and attending school in Korea. I couldn’t tell if my civilian friends didn’t believe me, or my story was just so different from their experience that they couldn’t relate. Either way, I often thought of my other “brat” friends and how I would like to reconnect with them.

As my own children started school and I was considering which schools they would attend, I began to think of my own school experience and what has happened to my classmates from Korea. I knew very little about social media at the time and had no idea where to begin to find them. One day I noticed that the public library was going to be showing the documentary, Brats: Our Journey Home. I went to the library, sat in a dark room with a handful of others, and the documentary began. It was about ten minutes into the documentary that I started bawling. I was crying and was not sure why this film was having such an emotional impact on me. At one point in the documentary, I saw the sign in front of my old high school in Korea, I realized why I was so moved. I said to myself, “Oh my gosh! It was real.” It existed. This school that I had been talking about for 30 years actually existed. My memories were real. The documentary validated my experience and my memories of my experience.

As members of military families, we are in a subculture of America that few others experience. Living on a military base is similar to a small town where everybody knows everybody, but unlike a small town, we rarely get the opportunity to go “home.” What does home even mean to military kids?  For the few of us that do get the opportunity to return to where we attended school, all the people are different, so it is not the same. There may be some buildings that are recognizable, but it is never the same, and to me does not feel like “home”. Soon after I saw the documentary, a friend asked me to join Facebook to see a photo of her new puppies. Once I joined Facebook, I began searching for friends from my high school in Korea. Once we connected, and began sharing photos and stories, it was if no time had passed. I felt more at home, than I had in a long time. In fact, one friend from high school and I were living in the same town for six years and had no idea the other was living there.

I believe that it is through our stories that we make connections with other members of military families, often finding similarities with which we can relate. Although we may share some similar experiences, there is no one stereotypical military family. Being a part of a military family, we all have very different stories, but once we share our stories we can begin to relate, to make connections, and perhaps find that sense of home you may be longing for. I believe it is through storytelling that we find the common thread that binds us together. The Museum of American Military Families can be that venue for thread-finding, but it does require you to be willing to share your story. I ask you to be brave and share a story from your life in a military family. You can start by visiting the the museum’s Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/MuseumoftheAmericanMilitaryFamily .  You can scroll on the side of this webpage and find a blog or podcast that reminds you of an event or episode you would be willing to share.

Together, let’s make 2021 the year of connections and start by telling your story.

Please email info@militaryfamilymuseum.org if you have any questions.

 

 

 

One Community Auto Adds Five Charities to its Vehicle Management Service

 

Contact: Gary Peterson

505-379-3432 gary@onecommunityauto.com 

One Community Auto Adds Five Charities 

to Its Vehicle Donation Management Service 

Handles all aspects of donating and selling donated vehicles. 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Albuquerque NM, November 23, 2020. One Community Auto, a local used car dealer with a mission to support our community, today announced that OCA added five new non-profits to its list of charities, now serving 53 area non-profits for which it manages all aspects of vehicle donations. In the seven years since the program began, OCA has helped local charities raise over $1 million to help support their various missions, and, even in the midst of the pandemic the numbers are still growing. 

The recently contracted charities are: 

  • Veterans Integration Centers – The VIC began 15 years ago as a program to bring 
  • Veterans all over New Mexico from the streets to a place for healing and creating new lives. Homeless and home-insecure Veterans are housed in the VIC’s Transitional Living Facility in the Southeast Heights, where they receive a number of services—medical, psychological, working on job skills and interpersonal skills that will help them create a new stable and productive life. VIC moves those Veterans who are ready into permanent housing and continues to work with them to build confidence in their ability to thrive. Headquartered in Albuquerque and Alamogordo, VIC also runs a weekday shuttle downtown to transport all who need help to various organizations and services for the homeless. VIC also provides a food bank in their NE Heights Central Avenue location for those in need of nutritious food. Learn more at www.nmvic.org 
  • The Museum of the American Military Family – With the message of “We Also Serve”, MAMF, temporarily located in Tijeras, NM, shares the stories of military families from all branches of our Armed Services whose great sacrifices support our strong military. The Museum, visited by people throughout the U.S. and other countries, focuses on the unique lives of families that may move numerous times as their active-duty military family member is transferred from base to base. And, on those who remain behind when family members are deployed to combat zones, having to manage family life without their spouses’ presence. The Museum develops numerous programs throughout the year to continue sharing stories, experiences and challenges met by military families serving worldwide. www.militaryfamilymuseum.org 
  • Next Step Ministries – Their mission is to provide help and hope to men who have taken steps to move from a damaged or broken life to a life that glorifies God. The men served by Next Step Ministries are, first, men who have accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. Second, they are men who have stumbled in their lives, resulting in homelessness, substance abuse, incarceration, broken relationships, or perhaps long-term unemployment, but who have taken significant steps toward stability and restoration. Learn more athttps://www.nextstepnm.com/ 
  • IncredAble Adaptive MMA – A non-profit associated with Jackson-Wink MMA, its mission is to create and provide opportunities in MMA for youths and teens with physical and environmental/at risk challenges. They help these young people who are often overlooked train in and excel in the sport of MMA. This focused training helps empower clients to be able to defend themselves, as well as to become more fit and build physical strength. Learn more at www.incredableadaptivemma.org 
  • FIFABQ – Food is Free Albuquerque—A nonprofit that encourages the social empowerment through the growing and sharing of fresh food. Through their efforts of gleaning local backyard trees and privately owned orchards, they feed hundreds of New Mexicans in need. Food is Free is a global movement started in Austin Texas as front-yard gardens. The Albuquerque chapter was started in 2014 by two woman looking to make preserves for their own families. Through this act they discovered a hidden abundance of fruit trees and took this newfound information to begin giving food away. Since then FIFABQ has grown multiple programs, providing unique ways to bring fresh healthy food to citizens in Albuquerque and beyond. Every action driven by their motto 
  • “Fresh Food is a human right”. Visit their website at www.fifabq.org 

OCA makes the entire vehicle donation experience so incredibly simple. Make one call, that’s all a donor needs to do! OCA will… 

  • • Pick up the donated vehicle 
  • • Prepare all legal paperwork 
  • • Give the donor proof of the donation 
  • • When the vehicle sells, send a donation letter for filing taxes 

OCA owner Major Gary Peterson, USAF, Ret., completed his military mission in hot spots in the Middle East and served at the Pentagon prior to retiring and opening a used car dealership committed to helping support his community. In the seven years OCA has been managing vehicle donations for non-profits, the number charities he serves has grown from a handful to over 50. 

In order to move the sale of donated vehicles that his company repairs and refurbishes more quickly, Peterson established Route 66 Auctions and is holding monthly online auctions, www.rt66auctions.hibid.com, to ensure that monies are available to the non-profits much earlier than waiting for car lot sales. For more information about the process and the many charities served by One Community Auto please visit https://www.onecommunityauto.com/services 

# # # 

One Community Auto, “Where everybody wins!”, is located at 300 Wyoming SE, Albuquerque NM 87123. Call 505-379-3432 for more information on vehicle donations. 

We miss you!

If you’re planning to visit us, please make an appointment 24 hours in advance, and if you can’t come visit in person, check out our blogs and podcasts or follow us on Facebook. View one of our many blogs, like https://weservedtoo.wordpress.com, our podcast at https://militaryfamilymuseum.podbean.com and our website, https://militaryfamilymuseum.org

In order to keep you and us safe, your hosts will have taken New Mexico’s Covid-Safe Training.

New Mexico Proclaims November to be Veterans & Military Families Month

Good Morning Ladies and Gentlemen.

As we continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, I would like to take a moment to issue a proclamation proclaiming November as Veterans and Military Families Month in New Mexico.

I urge all veterans and eligible dependents of veterans to make sure you’ve filed for your eligible VA or state veterans’ benefits—or to ensure your benefits are up to date. These are benefits you’ve earned through your service for our country, and I want to make sure you are receiving everything you’ve earned. Please contact the New Mexico Department of Veterans Services for help with this filing process.

Office address:

New Mexico Dept. of Veterans Services

Office of the Cabinet Secretary

406 Don Gaspar Ave.
Santa Fe, NM  87501

Attn: Ray Seva (505) 362-6089

 

 

 

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