A Salute to Our Heroes

Man and woman saluting

On November 15, 2014, the Museum of the American Military Family, the City of Albuquerque , ChoppHearse, the Albuquerque Balloon Museum, and dozens of other organizations and groups collaborated on a “Salute to Our Heroes”. It was an amazing event.

Salute to Heros Poster

 

 

 

The event started off with a motorcade and a flag line. Museum visitors joined cadets from several JROTC and ROTC units, the Young Marines and Bataan Military Academy. Distinguished guests from the National Guard, the City of Albuquerque and Service Organizations joined the procession into the Balloon Museum, where Director Sandor Cohen welcomed them, saying,

“WE ARE TRULY HONORED TO BE HERE TODAY AS PART OF A VERY SPECIAL OCCASION THAT PAYS TRIBUTE TO OUR BELOVED VETERANS – DEFENDERS OF OUR FREEDM – AND TO SUPPORT A VERY SPECIAL NEW MUSEUM IN THE ALBUQUERQUE AREA THAT NOT ONLY HONORS THE HEROES IN OUR MILITARY…BUT THAT ALSO TELLS THE STORY OF THEIR FAMILIES AND LOVED ONES, WHO EQUALLY EXEMPLIFY THAT SAME SENSE OF DUTY AND SACRIFICE AND LOVE OF COUNTRY THAT WE FIND IN THOSE WHO SERVE.”

 

As part of the program, there was a very moving flag folding ceremony followed by MAMF Director, Circe Olson Woessner accepting the flag,  and reminding the audience,

“…So when celebrating Veterans Day, we should remember all of our Veterans, by thanking them for their service, listening to their stories…welcoming them home, but we also need to remember the ones who have died without ever telling their stories, the ones who are living in poverty on the streets, the ones that have no family or are being honored by strangers. Today, we specially honor them and welcome them to our family. ” » Read more

FOR MAMF, NO LAZY DAYS OF SUMMER

Raising flag

By Allen Dale Olson, MAMF Secretary/Public Affairs

When the MAMF exhibit, “Sacrifice & Service: The American Military Family,” closed on August 31, it had seen 17,116 visitors since opening on May 26 in the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History. And that doesn’t include the members of the Albuquerque Museum Collaborative Council or all the elementary and middle school kids who attended summer science camps in the Nuclear Museum. There were 145 VIPs at the Opening Reception on May 30.Sacrifice & Service Poster for Nuclear Museum

 

 

But the exhibit was more than an exhibit. There were book readings by Steve Sparks, R. Sam Baty, and J. Allen Whitt. Four Poets – Caroline LeBlanc, Circe Olson Woessner, Jacqueline Murray Loring, and Karen Bradberry entertained with touching and humorous excerpts from letters and messages about family life in the military. » Read more

Museum Celebrates Military Family History

By Iain McLellan

There is a museum celebrating military family history in Albuquerque New Mexico. It was founded by Army wife and mother and overseas “brat” Dr. Circe Olson Woessner and her father, DODDS administrator, Dr. Allen Dale Olson.

When asked about how the museum came about, Woessner recalls,

“One night I was watching TV while my son was deployed to Iraq and I thought about all the military families around the world who at that very moment had children or parents serving in harm’s way. All military families, from all generations, who have ever had a loved one deploy, have felt that curious blend of pride, of worry, of hope—and have had to draw on an inner strength to keep it all together outwardly, despite inner turmoil. That is something universal to military families throughout history.”

Upon this realization, Woessner put in some online queries about military families and came to the conclusion that she needed to create a museum entirely dedicated to the American Military Family.

“What we want to do in Albuquerque is to have a permanent, physical place where children, spouses, parents, siblings, cousins, grandparents, partners of service members– from all generations, all branches–can visit and experience a museum entirely dedicated to their stories and their history.”

To Woessner, it is important for people to recognize these elements of service and appreciate the unique military family cultures and subcultures.

“We want to create a learning community where people can come and see history through a different filter, relive their own military roots, open dialogue between the generations and leave with a deeper appreciation of what it means to serve as a military family and to be a child moving from school to school, country to country as a ‘military brat.’”

Woessner believes that the lifestyles of the current generation of brats are very different from the ones she and older generations of brats knew.

“Although most of my brat peers are in their late 40s to late 60s and our experiences as brats are vastly different from the experiences of military kids today, we still have much in common –this is apparent when we meet—even as strangers—because we can instantly relate. It’s like that old saying: the more things change, the more things stay the same.”

In collaboration with the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History, a Smithsonian affiliate, the Museum of the American Military Family created the exhibit, Sacrifice & Service: The American Military Family. On its opening day, 300 visitors viewed the exhibit. In the months of June and July, approximately 15,000 visited the museum. After the exhibit closes at the end of August, the exhibit will travel to the Lea County Museum in Lovington, and to Los Alamos.

Although the Museum of the American Military Family is currently an online museum, the organization has been gifted seven historic military housing units from the early 1940ss and is in the process of fundraising to rehab them and set them in a permanent location in Albuquerque.

“With the help of grants and donations, we hope to have our groundbreaking in late 2014”, Woessner says. ‘We are really excited, so stay tuned! It is taking a village to raise this museum, and we are blessed to have so much support.”

Anyone interested in supporting this initiative should make contact with Dr. Woessner at circe@militaryfamily.org or at P.O. Box 5085, Albuquerque,

NM 87185. She can be reached by phone at (505) 504-6830.

Lea County Museum To Feature Our Exhibit: Sacrifice & Service!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FROM: THE LEA COUNTY MUSEUM
DATE: JULY 26, 2014

LCM TO FEATURE US MILITARY FAMILY EXHIBIT

The Lea County Museum in Lovington will present a very unique exhibit that celebrates America’s rich military history through the voices of its military families past and present.
Titled “Sacrifice & Service: The American Military Family” and now in its debut showing at the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History in Albuquerque, the exhibit will be on display at the Lea County Museum in Lovington for two months, October and November of this year.
NMNSH director Jim Walther says, “The strength, courage and commitment portrayed by all American military families is fascinating and inspirational. We are honored to host an exhibit that will resonate with many and is sure to paint a vivid picture of the stresses and excitement associated with having a service person in one’s family.”
The exhibit will remain at the NMNSH through August.

“Sacrifice & Service” includes military memorabilia, hundreds of photographs, and scenes from the home life that service men and women leave behind when their duty takes them to other parts of America and to destinations all over the world.
Themes in “Sacrifice & Service” include the temporary nature of military life, the losses and grief families experience, and the importance of continued communication with those staying home.Through written word and interactive activities, visitors to the exhibit experience the joy, the sorrow and the sacrifice of America’s steadfast and unsung heroes, the military family. The exhibit also shows the pride families have in supporting a loved one who is serving the nation.

“Sacrifice and Service” is the product of the creators of a new museum, Museum of the American Military Family and Learning Center, individuals who are currently in the process of acquiring the land and buildings that will make up the museum. With the help of many other volunteers, they are Executive Director Dr. Circe Olson Woessner and her father Dr. Allen Dale Olson. Woessner is an Army wife of twenty years; her her son is currently on active duty. Olson is a world War II-era veteran who has also worked for the US Defense Department.
“Sacrifice & Service” will be on exhibit in conjunction with the opening of the LCM’s new Lea County Military and Veterans exhibit which will open in September.
For more information about the LCM, call the museum at 575-396-4805.
More information about the Museum of the American Military Family can be found at “www.museumoftheamericanmilitaryfamily.org”.
More information at the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History can be found at “www.nuclearmuseum.org”.

June News 2014

Ribbon Cutting with Adults and Children Sacrifice & Service 2014

This Winter whistled past us in a flash– we had so many programs going on, and much preparation was underway towards our exhibit: Sacrifice & Service. On May 26, the exhibit opened at the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History, and 300 people came to see it the first day. On May 30, we had a gala reception and 145 friends and supporters joined us in cutting the ribbon. Guest speakers Commissioner Wayne Johnson, Brig. Gen. Judy Griego, Nuclear museum Director Jim Walther and Museum of the American Military Family Director Circe Woessner made remarks. The Vietnam Veterans of America, Santa Fe Chapter posted the colors and the Patriot Guard Riders and Blue Star Mothers created a wonderful Flag Line. It was a truly beautiful celebration.

 

Second Lady Jill Biden and Senator Tom Udall each sent a letter welcoming visitors to the exhibit.

Since the opening, we have had visitors from China, Finland, Germany and from the United States write nice comments in the exhibit guest book.

We are already making plans to travel Sacrifice & Service once it closes.

It has been exciting to go into the exhibit and see where people have put pins into a world map showing where they have lived as military families…Gentleman in flowered shirt pinning pin to map

 

 

Veteran author and blogger Sparks and his wife Judy came to visit us and to do a book reading in conjunction with the exhibit. We also had book readings later in the month by J Allen Whitt and R Sam Baty.

 

Our board members were very busy throughout the communities during the Spring.

» Read more

Albuquerque, Tell Your Story

Telling Project flyer with woman with microphone in black T shirt

 

 

 

THE MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN MILITARY FAMILY (MAMF)

 Invites all generations of veterans & military family performers,

 Community members and businesses to participate in the                                                             TELLING PROJECT ALBUQUERQUE

South Broadway Cultural Center, September 11, 13, 19 & 20, 2014

THE TELLING PROJECT ALBUQUERQUE is a testimonial theatrical performance that brings together all generations of veterans, military family members, artists, community partners, and volunteers to increase the understanding between military and civilian community members.

A small group of local volunteers have been already been hard at work to make Telling Albuquerque a success. We invite you and your organization to contribute to its success by helping us with any of the things below. Contact Caroline LeBlanc, wildernessheart@msn.com for more information.

VOLUNTEERS TO PERFORM: VETERANS AND MILITARY FAMILY MEMBERS, 18 years of age and older, who are interested in telling their stories on stage. Men and women are invited to interview with our director, Max Rayneard, who will help you turn your story into a performance during the rehearsal process. If you wish to perform, email info@thetellingproject.org .

CIVILIAN AND MILITARY VOLUNTEERS TO HELP with various tasks before the performance date and/or during the performance as ushers, etc.

DONATIONS of money or services in kind for such things as space rental, promotional & printing costs, and food for veteran/family member performers during rehearsals.

SPREAD THE WORD OR SEND US INFORMATION on how tocontact others who may be interested in learning about the TELLING PROJECT ALBUQUERQUE or helping to make it happen.

INDIVIDUAL AND BUSINESS SPONSORS: Contact Caroline LeBlanc for further information

STAFF:   National Producer: Jonathan Wei, Executive Director, The Telling Project

National Director: Max Rayneard, New York

Local producer: Caroline LeBlanc, wildernessheart@msn.com

 

The TELLING PROJECT is supported in part by a grant from The Bob Woodruff Foundation, National partners include The Veteran Artists Program and The Veterans History Project.

MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN MILITARY FAMILY, PO BOX 5085, ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO 87185

CIRCE OLSON WOESSNER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, 505-504-6830.

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