MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN MILITARY FAMILY & LEARNING CENTER LAUNCHES SCHOOLING WITH UNCLE SAM

An anthology of first-hand stories by teachers and students who experienced the DoDEA school system around the world during the years from 1946 to the present has recently launched on Amazon and copies have been mailed to the 58 author-contributors to the book so they will have them in time for the October observance of DoDEA’s 75th anniversary.

Schooling  With Uncle Sam was compiled by Circe Olson Woessner and Allen Dale Olson, a father-daughter team with a combined total of 70 years of affiliation with the schools known today as DoDEA (Department of Defense Education Activity). Includes a Foreword by DoDEA Director, Tom Brady, and artwork by Joan Olson and information from the museum’s schools exhibit.

The anthology presents nearly100 first-hand stories and comments in a 346-page anthology by former teachers and students with experience in the world-wide K-12 school system operated by the Department of Defense since the end of World War II for the children of U.S. military personnel.

DoDEA will launch a press release and an anniversary web page on October 12th to commemorate the opening of the first schools in Germany, Japan, and Austria. Throughout the rest of the school year, they will roll out print and digital products to call attention to this special anniversary. Follow the DoDEA webpage to find links to organizations such as ours, to the anthology, and to the history and legacy of people and events that have helped preserve DoDEA history.

SCHOOLING WITH UNCLE SAM not only tells the history of the system but also opens windows on what it really is like to teach in or attend a typical American school on a military installation overseas. There are laughter and thrills, smiles and fears, adventure and tranquility highlighting the unique relationships among teachers and students.

Some early reviews read:

“It is after midnight and I’m sitting in easy chair reading the wonderful stories/memories written in this book… enjoyed 36 glorious years with DODEA. I miss those days.  Thank u for giving all of us a time to reflect on our own experiences and relish reading the stories of others!”

“My copy came yesterday and I stayed up all night reading it! Wonderful, wonderful stories by such fabulous people! Thank you to everyone for sharing your memories! ❤️❤️❤️”

To buy the book, please click

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Mexico families can support the Museum of the American Military Family when they shop at Smiths

The Kroger Co. Family of Stores is committed to bringing hope and help to local neighborhoods and organizations through their Inspiring Donations program. New Mexico’s Smith’s Food & Drug participates to give customers the opportunity to donate to local causes.

When you to link your Rewards card to the Museum of the American Military Family  (Organization IA946), Smith’s Food & Drug donates .5% of every eligible purchase. The more you shop, the more money the museum will earn!

If you have any questions, please email SmithsInspiringDonations@sfdc.com or visit their website at http://www.smithsfoodanddrug.com/inspire .

Here’s how it works:

  1. Create a digital account.

A digital account is needed to participate in Smith’s Inspiring Donations. If you already have a digital account, simply link your Shopper’s Card to your account so that all transactions apply toward the organization you choose.

  1. Link your Card to an organization. The Museum of the American Military Family is IA946

Select the organization that you wish to support. Here’s how:

  • Sign in to your digital account.
  • Search for your organization. (The museum is IA946)
  • Enter the name or organization number.
  • Select the Museum of the American Military Family from the list and click “Save”.
  • Your choice will also display in the Smith’s Inspiring Donations section of your account. If you need to review or revisit your organization, you can always do so under your Account details.
  1. The museum earns. (Thank you!)

Note, if you are a customer, make sure you have a preferred store selected to view participating organizations.  Any transactions moving forward using the Shopper’s Card number associated with your digital account will be applied to the program, at no added cost to you. This is a very easy way to support the Museum of the American Military Family.

 

 

 

SHOUT!

The play SHOUT! was inspired by Inner Voices, a story written by Army veteran Theresa Duke for the Museum of the American Military Family’s anthology, SHOUT! Sharing Our Truth: An Anthology of Writing by LGBT Veterans and Family Members of the U.S. Military Services. Lora Beldon, the 2017-2019 museum Artist-in-Residence and museum Director Circe Olson Woessner co-edited the anthology.

Inner Voices had exceptionally compelling dialogue and Beldon and Woessner agreed the story would translate well on stage. Playwright Melissa Rayford seamlessly wove together multiple stories contributed by service members, military spouses, brats and allies into a strong, thought-provoking and poignant piece.

Beldon says, “Shared stories help build and define our identity…help communities learn from each other. People who haven’t experienced what LGBTQ veterans or their families have, can better understand and learn about the subculture through the play.”

In 2018, SHOUT! and the museum’s companion exhibit Still Shouting – Memories from Inside the Closet  received the American Association for State and Local History’s prestigious Albert B. Corey Award, gaining national recognition for the museum.

SHOUT! debuted in Richmond, VA, on September 22, 2019 and received positive reviews.

Rayford, who also directed the Richmond performance said, “It is our hope…that we create a production to be used by any theatre group wishing to produce this subject matter.”

While the 2020-2021 Covid pandemic sidelined further stage performances, it did not stop Beldon and Woessner from collaborating with Dr Deborah Cohler (San Francisco State University) and Dr. Erica Chu (Truman College) to create educational materials based on LGBTQ and military history and stories in the script to help enhance the audience experience and to provide further education by facilitating post-play discussion.

In December 2020, Los Angeles based director, Herb Hall led nine actors in a virtual reading of SHOUT!.Navy veteran Kayt Peck reviewed the online reading saying,

“I applaud the Museum of the American Military Family in their efforts to acknowledge LGBTQ service members, especially those who spent years, even decades serving in silence, protecting a country that did not recognize them as worthy citizens. This remains a dedicated mission for the Museum even as Covid makes live theatre an impossibility.

“SHOUT! accomplishes a critical need by making discussion of gays in the military not simply a discussion of a concept but also showing the impacts on real people and acknowledging the talents and dedication of LGBTQ service members. Those talents help make the military the efficient and effective component of society that it can and must be.”

Hall will be directing a virtual one-day matinee performance of SHOUT! on June 27, 2021 at 2 PM PDT.  The museum board and cast are raising funds to cover expenses through a dedicated fundraising platform.

Air Force Spouse Aimee Hanebeck, one of the many volunteers working tirelessly to ensure the play moves forward says,

“This is an important work of theater and a source of great pride for the museum to have curated the stories for the play. In this innovative time of a post-Covid exposed world, artists have found ways to bring their craft to their audience, and as such, SHOUT! will be available in an online performance.

We would like to invite you to be a part of this project. As a nonprofit, the museum is sustained entirely by donations from patrons.  In order to uphold the dignity of this script, we have set a goal to fairly compensate the actors and staff, record the performance, and make it available for greater circulation and for use in academic and corporate settings.”

Volunteers have set up a dedicated Fundly account, and anyone who contributes to it will receive a  link to the June 27th performance.

The museum is a 501c3 all-volunteer non-profit located in Tijeras, New Mexico, seven miles east of Albuquerque. Visit the museum’s webpage to learn more about SHOUT!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Military Family Museum in Tijeras, NM Reopens with Exhibit Honoring Children of Military Families

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 15, 2021

CONTACT Erica Asmus-Otero erica@inpressllc.com, 505-259-2202

 

Military Family Museum in Tijeras, NM Reopens with Exhibit Honoring Children of Military Families

 TIJERAS, NM—In honor of the “Month of the Military Child” in April, the Museum of the American Military Family (MAMF), located in Tijeras, NM, is featuring its  “Military Kids Lives” permanent exhibit – a compilation of photos, documents and stories from those who grew up in the military, along with research from the nation’s leading subject matter experts. After over a year of being closed due to COVID restrictions, MAMF is now reopen Friday and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon and by appointment.

 “As a child connected to the military, I understand first-hand the feeling of being 10 and old enough to get a military dependent ID card – a rite of passage, a passport to freedom, and the certainty that I was on my way to becoming a grown-up,” said MAMF founder and director, Circe Olson Woessner, ND. “MAMF connects people like myself who have had similar experiences, always living with the uncertainty of not knowing where you’d be in a year. It’s important for New Mexicans to understand the sacrifices military children also make. This exhibit provides stories with which you can connect and appreciate.”

 As part of the exhibit, MAMF is also showcasing books by and for military children (“brats”). MAMF is asking former or current military brats to create a photo book of their life experience as a child which will become part of the exhibit.

 The exhibit contrasts and compares the experiences of Hudson Philips, a brat in the 1930’s and 40’s, with those of author Bernard Lee (1950’s and 60’s) and Dwayne Dunn (1980’s and 90’s). Elva Resa Publishing House and Military Kids Lives Magazine are also featured on panels discussing their military child-centric publications.

 Visitors can expect to see artifacts, clothing, and books donated by brats who grew up in military families – from Thailand to Texas, Norway to Libya, throughout Europe, the USA, and the Far East.

 The exhibit is sponsored, in part, by Home Depot, Daisy BB guns, GCC, Rio Grande Credit Union and Chameleon Kids. Because MAMF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, we suggest a $3 per person admission fee.

 Month of the Military Child was established in 1986 by Defense Secretary Casper Weinberger to recognize U.S. military children who have one or both parents serving in the armed forces. As part of that effort, April 30 is recognized as the official “National Military Brats Day.” It is estimated there are around around 15 million military brats in the U.S.

 MAMF is NM Safe Certified for COVID-19 Safe Practices. All visitors must wear masks. Per public health orders, MAMF will operate at 33% capacity.

 MAMF is located at 546B State Route 333, Tijeras, NM 87059, next to Molly’s Bar.

For more information or to make an appointment to visit MAMF, contact the museum at (505) 400-3849 or visit us at www.militaryfamilymuseum.org. Connect with us at https://www.facebook.com/MuseumoftheAmericanMilitaryFamily/

 

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 

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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. 

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