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
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!
Here’s how it works:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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!
Want to help make a difference while you shop in the Amazon app, at no extra cost to you? Simply follow the instructions below to select “Museum of the American Military Family and Learning Center” as your charity and activate AmazonSmile in the app. They’ll donate a portion of your eligible mobile app purchases to us.
How it works:
1. Open the Amazon app on your phone
2. Select the main menu (=) & tap on “AmazonSmile” within Programs & Features
3. Select “Museum of the American Military Family and Learning Center” as your charity
4. Follow the on-screen instructions to activate AmazonSmile in the mobile app
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 15, 2021
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.
March 10, 2021
For immediate release
Contact: Dr. Allen Dale Olson, (505) 400-3849, OlsonAllen@msn.com
MILITARY FAMILY MUSEUM SPECIAL HOURS FOR TENTH ANNIVERSARY
In recognition of its tenth anniversary, the Tijeras-based Museum of the American Military Family (MAMF) will open from 1:00 to 3:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday, March 20 and 21. Following Covid protocols, visitors will be limited in number and must wear masks and practice social distancing. MAMF docents have received state certification in Covid practices.
On display will be artifacts from around the world, including garments, tools, and instruments from Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, unique items such as a model of the infamous Nazi concentration camp at Flossenheim and some military uniform buttons from the American Revolutionary War.
Visitors can browse in the special collections library and review exhibits illustrating the life of a military kid, the special challenges and achievements of a military spouse, and a description of the world-wide school system operated b y the Department of Defense for military kids.
MAMF was founded on March 23, 2011, and its founder and executive director, Dr. Circe Olson Woessner, says “we would love to receive birthday cards in the mail or by visitors dropping them off during a visit.”
MAMF is at 546B State Highway 333 (Old Route 66) in Tijeras (right next to Molly’s famous destination bar). Admission is $3.00 per visitor. Additional information: www.militaryfamilymuseum.org.