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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
“The motto, E Pluribus Unum, means ‘out of many, one.’ The museum’s latest project E Pluribus Unum: GRAICE Under Pressure — gives title and substance to a newly-released multi-faceted study exploring if the many do indeed become one,” Dr. Circe Olson Woessner, Executive Director of the Museum of the American Military Family (MAMF) explains. “E Pluribus Unum: GRAICE under Pressure curates, in one volume, stories from hundreds of military-connected individuals based on their service experience seen through the lenses of GRAICE (Gender; Religion; rAce; Identity; Culture; and Ethnicity.).”
The 276-page book results from MAMF’s most ambitious undertaking to date. The museum team and the museum’s Veteran•Family•Community Collaborative used an anonymous survey and written essays to answer a series of questions based on a simple theme: How do MANY become ONE without losing ONESELF. “How,” Woessner asks, “do we unite in service and still keep our personhood?”
The “GRAICE Project” involved hundreds of people, including a team of university anthropologists who analyzed the data and sorted it into specific categories in line with topics in the book. In addition to the book, the museum will present a series of podcasts and social media stories.
The book contains art by Brandon Palma, a military brat artist, and compositions by the museum’s two Writers-in-Residence, Valerie Bonham Moon and Connie Kinsey, who wrote essays on single-word prompts. Woessner adds that “almost two dozen other military-connected authors aged 9 to 91 also wrote essays on the same topics –almost like chapter bookends– different generations and perspectives, and these varied voices tell their stories, the good, the bad, the in-between, and the truly awful!”
“During the first 14 years of my life,” Connie Kinsey says, “I had 24 home addresses and experienced things much different from my civilian counterparts. This project is a serious look at life in a military environment as experienced by Brats like me. The stories are heartwarming, thought-provoking, and insightful. This book should be read in small doses, picked up, set down, digested, and revisited.” Valerie Bonham Moon adds, “It’s also a professional analysis of contemporaneous social pressure that affects the people affiliated with the services.”
The project was grant-funded, in part, by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the New Mexico Humanities Council, and the McCune Foundation.
Woessner says that proceeds from this book and other MAMF publications help support the museum’s literary projects and residency programs. To buy a copy of E Pluribus Unum, please click the link:
The museum will be releasing E Pluribus Unum: GRAICE Under Pressure in late July 2022. This is part of a multimedia project exploring Gender, Religion, Race, Identity, Culture and Ethnicity in the military/family. In October 2022, look for the companion anthology to Schooling with Uncle Sam to be published. Host Nation Hospitality explores relationships and memories of life overseas. Additionally, the museum will launch its exhibit by the same name in late fall 2022.
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! ❤️❤️❤️”
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