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.

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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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.

 

MAMF continues to raise money and enthusiasm for the Military Family Memorial

Years ago, MAMF began designing its memorial honoring military families. Since then, people have donated a little over $5,000 towards the project. Originally, MAMF wanted to convert one of the seven military housing units it had been gifted into the memorial, but has since determined that those houses will prove too costly to renovate and rehabilitate for the project.

MAMF has redesigned its memorial, incorporating original artifacts from the historic Kirtland AFB houses. They have commissioned an Albuquerque firm to create 3D dandelion sculptures, which will be unveiled later this summer.

Here’s a rough sketch of the memorial building honoring those who “kept the home fires burning…”

The Memorial will be placed with the New Mexico National Guard in late 2016, thanks to the generous donations of individuals, businesses and organizations. It will take an additional $10,000 to bring this Memorial to fruition. If you’d like to help MAMF create this unique tribute to the countless men, women and children who serve alongside America’s heroes, please click here to donate, or send a check to:
MAMF, PO Box 5085 Albuquerque, NM 87185 . We are a 501c3 all volunteer nonprofit and your donations are tax deductible.

Thank you!

MAMF Military Family Memorial

 

 

THE RIBBON WAS CUT AND “AND SCHOOLING WITH UNCLE SAM” IS OPEN

The Cadets of the Bataan Military Academy posted the colors proudly, and just as proudly, Dr. Circe Olson Woessner, founder and Executive Director of the Museum of the American Military Family, gave them the order to cut the ribbon and open “Schooling with Uncle Sam.”

Some 40 friends and supporters of the Museum rose to applaud the gesture, led by an enthusiastic Brigadier General Andrew Salas, Adjutant General of the New Mexico National Guard. They then spread out to look at artifact cases and displays and a series of exhibit panels telling the story of the elementary and secondary schools operated by the U.S. Defense Department around the world since the end of World War II.

“Schooling with Uncle Sam,” housed in the Botts Auditorium of the Albuquerque Special Collections Library, itself on the National Register of Historic Places, is the first public exhibit about this remarkable and unique school system.

“Schooling” co-curator (with Dr. Woessner) Dr. Allen Dale Olson told the audience that some 15 million adults have attended these schools over the years and that nearly all of them went to three, four, maybe five different schools on the way to graduation, that 50 % of them lived at or near the poverty line and in spite of all the moves, 97% of them actually graduated. » Read more

Month of the Military Child

Photo of Dandelion with Month of the Military Child
Story from the Army News Service  and  The Bayonet Photo: Bing copyright-free images

Whereas, since 1986, Army installations around the world recognize the sacrifices and applaud the courage of military children by celebrating the Month of the Military Child throughout the month of April; and

Whereas, each day, military children undergo unique challenges, which they face with resilience and dignity beyond their years; and

Whereas, it is essential to recognize that military children make significant contributions to the country while dealing with uncertainty and concern for their parents during extended hours and long deployments; and

Whereas, the high demand of Family responsibility that military children accept takes courage and strength as they serve the Nation along with their parents; and

Whereas, our men and women in uniform cannot focus on the missions or challenges ahead if they are concerned about their children at home; and

Whereas, the Army strives to provide a safe, nurturing environment for military children to enable a stronger and more resilient fighting force; and

Whereas, the Month of the Military Child reinforces this concept, reminds the nation that the service members’ children also serve, and gives communities an opportunity to share their gratitude for the service of military children; and

Now, therefore, we hereby join the nation in honoring our military children throughout the month of April.

John M. McHugh Secretary of the Army

Gen. Raymond T. Odierno Army chief of staff

Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel A. Dailey Sergeant Major of the Army

Read more here: http://www.thebayonet.com/2015/03/31/774360/month-of-the-military-child.html#storylink=cp

Talking Service: A Reading & Discussion Program for New Mexico Veterans

Child in service member's arms

Contact: Circe Olson Woessner at (505) 504-6830; Museum of the American Military Family

Contact: Michelle Quisenberry at (505) 633.7370; New Mexico Humanities Council

 Albuquerque, March 27, 2015– In a unique collaboration, the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce has joined forces with the New Mexico Humanities Council and the Museum of the American Military Family to offer Talking Service, a new reading and discussion program for veterans to reflect on their service and the transition to civilian life.  The program will take place in April on Wednesday evenings from 6:30pn-8:00pm. At the Hispano Chamber of Commerce, veterans can come together to discuss military themed readings from the anthology, Standing Down. The discussions will be facilitated by Caroline LeBlanc, Writer-in-Residence of the Museum of the American Military Family.

Talking Service, hosted at the Hispano Chamber of Commerce, is part of a national initiative by the Great Books Foundation and state humanities councils to offer veterans the opportunity to reflect on their service and talk openly about their challenges and future aspirations.  It is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities Standing Together initiative, which encourages humanities programs that focus on the history, experience, or meaning of war and military service.  The Great Books Foundation donated copies of Standing Down to state humanities councils, who in turn provide the textbooks to participating veterans in their states.

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Talking Service is free and open to past and present members of the Armed Forces. For more information about the program and how to join, please contact Dr. Circe Olson Woessner, Executive Director , Museum of the American Military Family at 505 504-6830 » Read more

NEW MEXICO HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES HONORS MAMF WITH MEMORIAL BILL 28 IN THE STATE CAPITOL

Phot of entry to the New Mexico State Capitol

The “Whereases” kept coming, each one more laudatory than the preceding one as the New Mexico House of Representatives Chief Clerk read House Memorial Bill 28 “recognizing the Museum of the American Military Family and Learning Center and the Importance of the American Military Family.”

HM 28 was sponsored and introduced by Representative Bill McCamley, Democrat of Las Cruces, and supported by several Members of both parties testifying in favor of this Museum which is focusing on experiences such as their own growing up with or being married to a person serving in one of the military services. Representative McCamley cited his own life in the military and the work MAMF is doing as his reasons for sponsoring the Bill. » Read more

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