The Museum of the American Military Family & Learning Center (MAMF) had a very eventful summer. On July 9, we had a ribbon cutting and opened the doors to very own space right next to the very famous Molly’s Bar.
We are happy to be part of the vibrant East Mountain community—our home in Tijeras is right on historic Route 66 and at the foot of the Turquoise Trail, a National Scenic Byway.
We had a large crowd at our grand opening: Senator Heinrich’s New Mexico office sent a representative who read a personal message from the Senator, Gloria Chavez, the Mayor of Tijeras, also made some remarks. Kirtland Air Force Base was represented, as was the Veteran community. We are very blessed to have such great support.
On July 21st, our board had its quarterly meeting, and we said goodbye to our Veteran Liaison, Elisabeth Sacco, who was moving back East. Our board is very involved in all of MAMF’s projects, and we went over the upcoming summer’s events and coordinated our schedules to include staffing the museum.
On August 3rd, MAMF Secretary/Public Affairs Ole represented MAMF at an Ernie Pyle Day planning meeting at the New Mexico Veteran’s Memorial. The Ernie Pyle Day is planning commemorative events in Albuquerque for 2017, and we will be participating.
On August 6, MAMF Director Circe, Spouse Liaison Stacy and Community Liaison Lisa took Operation Footlocker out to the Route 66 Run, Rally and Rock festival in Edgewood. MAMF Volunteers Jude and Ed staffed the museum for the day. Writer in Residence Paul dropped by and shared his extensive knowledge of history and literature with visitors.
On August 7 Circe and her husband Bill drove up to Santa Fe and met with representatives from the National Guard to pick out a location for the Military Family Memorial that MAMF is creating. It was determined that a spot right in front of the Bataan Military Museum would be perfect.
On August 31, Circe and Ole spoke to New Mexico Legislators at a special interim committee session at Central New Mexico College. The presentation was well received.
September 6th Ole was on the “Veterans Today” radio show on KVSF. He spoke to radio host Chris Abeyta about our need for help in constructing the Military Family Memorial as well as our soon-to-be released anthology, From the Frontlines to the Home Front: New Mexicans Reflect on War.
On September 16, MAMF hosted a Naturalization Ceremony for seven military wives who became US Citizens right in our “home”. Because September 16 is also POW/MIA Day and Constitution Day, the ceremony was especially meaningful. The guest speaker was military wife Mehreen Naqvi-Sharazee, herself a naturalized US citizen. Triangle Grocery in Cedar Crest provided a cake and Melba’s Floral Studios in Albuquerque created a gorgeous floral display and provided us with long-stemmed yellow roses for each new citizen.
On September 24, 35 motorcyclists dropped by MAMF as part of their Patriot Run, a fund-raiser for Run For the Wall and for the Sandoval County Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial.
On September 29 Ole and Circe attended the New Mexico Arts and the Military Arts/Humanities Round Table hosted by New Mexico Arts. Many artists, members of the New Mexico state government, representatives for the VA, and other service organizations participated.
Fall is here, and the museum is gearing up for a busy couple of months—we have an exhibit: GI Jokes: A Somewhat Lighthearted Look at Military Life opening on November 5th at the Special Collections Library at 423 Central NE in Albuquerque. Comic Warehouse and Kaufman’s West are sponsors of the exhibit. Paul, our Writer-in-Residence has just finished editing an anthology: From the Frontlines to the Home Front: New Mexicans Reflect on War. Our museum will be hosting reading/discussion groups using this book, which will not be for sale commercially. The book will debut around November 11. Stay tuned for dates and locations for the book groups.
Director Circe and Alexander George, both University of Maryland, Munich Campus alumni, have co-edited an anthology Eins, Zwei, G’Suffa: Memories from Munich Campus which is the third book in a series of memoirs. All proceeds from the book will go to support programming at the Museum of the American Military Family.
MAMF will also sponsor “mid-month movies”, a series of three WWII films generously donated by the WWII Foundation for MAMF to show. The first will be on October 15th at the Museum at 3:00 PM.
The most important project MAMF is working on is the creation of a memorial honoring military families-all generations and branches. It is slated to be placed in Santa Fe this November —fundraising is ongoing to bring this important memorial to fruition. The museum needs only $5,000 more to complete the project. Please help. All donations are appreciated…and donors will be acknowledged on the memorial signage.
Looking forward to 2017, MAMF plans two exhibits:
Host Nation Hospitality (May-June)and Passports and Pedagogy: One Teacher’s Travels (TBD) as well as a couple of transformative papermaking workshops in February/March.
All programs and exhibits are brought to the public free of charge and so MAMF depends on the generosity of individual donations and grants. Please consider a tax free donation to the Museum of the American Military Family an all-volunteer run 501 c 3 non-profit. To donate, please click here
Or send a check to:
Museum of the American Military Family
PO Box 5085
Albuquerque, NM 87185
As we moved The Museum of the American Military Family into its new location in Tijeras, my husband mentioned the irony of moving a museum directly into the path of the raging Doghead Fire. I retorted that we might have to keep the U-Haul, which we’d rented for the museum move, to evacuate our home, which was also in potential danger.
As the fire neared our neighborhood, I walked around our house making a list of what I should take, and I photographed everything I could think of, just in case I needed to file a claim. At night, instead of sleeping, I mentally evacuated the museum.
Luckily, we didn’t have to evacuate anything, but the exercise made me realize how vulnerable we are—and how, as a military wife, it was so easy for me to determine what was necessary to salvage, and what was disposable. » Read more
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; firstname.lastname@example.org; P.O. Box 5085, Albuquerque, NM 87185. www.museumoftheamericanmilitaryfamily.org.
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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.
Lisa M. Pino, Community Liaison–was born into a family with extensive military service and experienced, first hand, the pride her family had in serving our country. Her grandfather served in WWI. Her uncles, who served in Korea, carried on that proud tradition. Her father, father in law and stepfather in law are Vietnam and Vietnam-era veterans. Most recently, she had numerous cousins serving in Afghanistan and Iraq. She’s dedicated the last 30 years in support of the President Lincoln’s promise “To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan” by honoring the men and women who served in America’s Armed Forces. She volunteers extensively in the greater Albuquerque metro. She is looking forward to joining the Museum of the American Military Family team.
By Allen Dale Olson
Did you know that more than 8% of all jobs in New Mexico are supported by visitor spending – by tourism? That means that one out of every twelve workers in the state are dependent on visitors.
This was one of the tourism facts presented to the New Mexico Tourism Commission this week in a report prepared by Rebecca Latham, Cabinet Secretary for Tourism.
I attended the Commission meeting as President of the Albuquerque Museum Collaborative Council, but I made known to the Commissioners and the other attending tourism professionals that I also represent the Museum of the American Military Family and established a presence amid the people whose work generated more than eight billion dollars for the state last year. Every dollar spent on tourism marketing brings a return of just about seven dollars. » Read more
The MAMF Family is growing as we add three new members to our team. Here is a little about them:
Writer in Residence Paul Zolbrod says his military service made it possible for him to attend college, which is why he considers his induction the pivotal event in his adult life. Drafted into the army in early 1953 during the Korean War, he served in Tokyo following infantry basic training, then enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh on the Korean G.I. Bill after his discharge and went on to get a PhD. in English in 1967. By then he had already joined the faculty of Allegheny College where he remained as Professor of English for thirty years. Following his retirement to Albuquerque 1964, he taught writing at the Crownpoint, NM campus of the Navajo Nation’s Dine’ College. He is the author of a number of books and essays, most notably Dine’ bahane: The Navajo Creation Story, and especially, Battle Songs: A Story of the Korean War in Four Movements,” which reflects his abiding interest in that conflict. In writing that novel, he credits the research skills he acquired during the early phase of his scholarly career for boosting that work’s authenticity. Ever since its publication Paul has maintained a deep interest in veterans affairs. Likewise, his Reservation experience has made him aware of the impact of PTSD among Navajo veterans on family life
Mark John Gurule, Musician-in-Residence, is an Army Veteran who served overseas in Afghanistan in 2013. After being injured while deployed, Mark revisited his childhood passion of singing and making music. Now performing under the artist name- Lethal, he has built a team called “The Battalion” which performs in shows sharing testimony through music about his experiences in the military and at war. He has performed with various artists in the music industry such as Mike Jones and Stevie Stone with Strange Music. The Battalion does Rap, R&B, and Dubstep music, reaching the younger generation.
He is the “music ambassador” for the Museum of the American Military Family in Albuquerque, NM.
His team travels to different states, performing for various organizations and school groups, and reaching out to other veterans who have PTSD. Lethal states, “writing and music has helped me deal with my PTSD tremendously and would I love to counsel other Veterans dealing with the same issues through music!”
Jan Miller-Waugh, Webmistress and on-line shop manager can trace her military roots back to the American Revolution. She has one son currently serving in the Air Force; another served in the Marines and is a Federal employee. She has belonged to the Blue Star Mothers – Rio Grande Valley Chapter 2- since 2008. As a Blue Star Mother, she has served on the Executive Board, has been the BSM-Air Force Coordinator, and has also chaired the 10th Anniversary 9/11 Run/Walk/Ride in Albuquerque. Jan is a Mission Liaison with the Patriot Guard Riders. The founder and administrator of the RFTW New Mexico Facebook group, she is an active participant with the Run For the Wall, and has served as a Road Guard, a Tailgunner and part of the Staging Team. Her passion for assisting active duty service members and veterans is evidenced in her fundraising and/or writing efforts for the Wounded Warrior Project, New Mexico Shooting Sports Association, and the Military Order of the Purple Heart. She is the secretary and webmaster for Vet Riders for Wounded Warriors. Her expertise in Corporate and Government retail sales and IT and her networking skills are a perfect fit for MAMF.
By Museum of the American Military Family
At an Albuquerque press conference on June 29, New Mexico Governor Susanna Martinez said that “half-a-million more visitors came to New Mexico in 2014 than in 2013” and that all-in-all, the state counted “32.7 million travelers last year.”
Following her presentation, MAMF Secretary for Public Affairs – Ole – had five minutes of one-on-one conversation with the Governor who was pleased and impressed that a MAMF exhibit had attracted 20,000 visitors in 2014. “You’re doing your share,” she told Ole. » Read more
Special Exhibit Opens July 11 in Albuquerque
by Allen Dale Olson
Less than a third of one of America’s largest school systems is actually in the United States. Its 78,000 K-12 students attend 181 schools, 58 of which are in the States, the rest spread around the world from the Far and Middle East to Western Europe.
Headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, as part of the Defense Department (DoD), it has field offices in Peachtree, Georgia, and in Japan and Germany. The Department of Defense Education Agency (DoDEA) is a civilian educator agency serving the families of American military personnel.
The history, challenges, and achievements of this unique school system will be on display in the Main Reading Room of the Albuquerque Special Collections Library starting July 11 and running through August 22, with an opening ceremony on July 16 at 5:00 p.m.
An exhibit created by the Museum of the American Military Family (MAMF),“Schooling with Uncle Sam” uses quotes, photos, documents, and artifacts gathered from around the world from former students, teachers, administrators, and military personnel and curated by MAMF volunteers with decades of experience in the DoD schools. MAMF is the only museum in the country dedicated exclusively to collecting and preserving the stories of the mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, spouses, and other relatives of uniformed personnel from our nation’s founding to the present.
Military sponsorship for the education of sons and daughters of the armed forces dates to the mid-19th century, but the DoDEA of today traces its history to the end of World War II when the Army leadership decided that Occupation soldiers would have higher morale if their families were with them and that the defeated populace of Germany and Japan would benefit by witnessing living examples of American democracy. Besides, a racially integrated military was wary of assigning personnel into a still-segregated South.
Since DoD opened schools in Germany and Japan in 1946, an estimated 15,000,000 Americans have passed through them. Today, besides in the United States, DoD operates schools on military installations in 14 different nations.
DoDEA students are just like students in typical American schools, except they’re not. The average DoDEA student will attend four or five, often more, different schools en route to graduation. More than a quarter of them enter first grade speaking a language other than English. Almost all of them will have lived in at least one foreign country by the time they reach fourth grade.
Students come from every state in the Union, and so do their teachers. Every school is blessed with a faculty of men and women from diverse backgrounds and locations. They return to every state and enrich local districts with their own diversity and intercultural experiences.
DoDEA’s Director, Thomas Brady, in a recent Government Executive newsletter referred to DoDEA schools as “well-resourced,” because of their placement firmly in the Pentagon budget. He explains that DoDEA students have parents in a military organization that “requires them to keep up standards or get out. They have a roof over their heads, health care, three meals a day, and parents who care.”
Last summer, more than 20,000 visitors saw the MAMF Exhibit, “Sacrifice & Service,” the story of military families and how they find pride and identity through service and deal with deployments, loss, separation, and constant movement from base to base.
MAMF is an all-volunteer not-for-profit on-line entity in quest of a permanent home and is launching a capital campaign to support that quest.
The exhibit, “Schooling with Uncle Sam,” is free to the public. The Special Collections Library is at 423 Central Avenue NE in Albuquerque and is open from 10:00 a.m. till 6:00 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday except on Thursdays when it’s open 11:00 a.m. till 7:00 p.m. Closed Sundays and Mondays.