New Mexico Proclaims November to be Veterans & Military Families Month

Good Morning Ladies and Gentlemen.

As we continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, I would like to take a moment to issue a proclamation proclaiming November as Veterans and Military Families Month in New Mexico.

I urge all veterans and eligible dependents of veterans to make sure you’ve filed for your eligible VA or state veterans’ benefits—or to ensure your benefits are up to date. These are benefits you’ve earned through your service for our country, and I want to make sure you are receiving everything you’ve earned. Please contact the New Mexico Department of Veterans Services for help with this filing process.

Office address:

New Mexico Dept. of Veterans Services

Office of the Cabinet Secretary

406 Don Gaspar Ave.
Santa Fe, NM  87501

Attn: Ray Seva (505) 362-6089

 

 

 

Premier for our film “Love Songs for the Dead” and the Debut of “Lines Across Time: A Memory Booth Project”

On November 3, we had a very moving and inspiring day–remembering and honoring our loved ones who’d passed on. About 30 people screened our film or participated in our memory booth project, which is a joint project between MAMF and UNM’s Arts-in-Medicine program. Mary Cockburn (R1 of NM) and Kelly Frey (Hometrust Mortgage) are both part of the Heroes Home Advantage real estate program.

 

 

Our Museum is Recognized for its Creative Programming

by Circe Olson Woessner

When I first read the e-mail, my heart skipped a beat.

“On behalf of the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH), I am delighted to inform you that the Museum of the American Military Family and Learning Center was selected as the 2018 Albert B. Corey Award winner by the Leadership in History Awards committee. The AASLH Leadership in History Awards is the nation’s most prestigious competition for recognition of achievement in state and local history.”

In 2011, when we founded the museum, our small board had no idea what we were doing. We had an idea—and good intentions—and that was about it. We were not museum people; we were federal employees and retirees. We knew we wanted our museum to have meaningful, thoughtful programming, and that it would touch on all aspects of military life—the good, the bad, and everything in between.  We wanted to portray an accurate picture into military family life, and to represent all types of military families.
I continued reading.

“The Albert B. Corey Award is named in honor of a founder and former president of AASLH and recognizes primarily volunteer-operated organizations that best display the qualities of vigor, scholarship, and imagination in their work.  We congratulate you for the work that has brought this honor.”

Without a formal museum background, we had to be creative and intuitive. What would we military families like to tell? We collected stories for our anthologies, From the Front lines to the Home Front:New Mexicans Reflect on War, War Child: Lessons Learned from Growing Up in War,and Shout! Sharing Our Truths: Writings from LGBT Veterans and their Families, and hosted theatrical productions, we created exhibits such as Sacrifice & Service: The American Military Family, Schooling With Uncle Sam, GI Jokesand Inside Out: Memories From Inside the Closet.  With these exhibits, we discussed military family life, showcased the DoD schools’ history, explained military humor, and, though art, shared LGBT service members’ experiences. We built a memorial to military families up in Santa Fe. Our small volunteer force poured our heart and soul into our programming.

An actor performs with the museum’s “Brathood installation” in the background

Members of the MAMF Board stand in front of the Military Family Memorial in Santa Fe.

It was because we tell the military family story in creative ways, we were awarded the Corey Award.

We’ve used hot pads, ACU shirts and pants, aprons and paper as canvas to create a visual portrait of military family life.  We’ve collaborated in theatrical productions and filmed a short documentary, Love Song for the Dead: Honoring the Sacrifice & Service of New Mexico’s Military Families.  In late 2018-2019 we plan exhibits around Host Nation Hospitality, Addiction/Recovery, and a Korean War-era Christmas exhibit and picture book set in Cold War Japan. We are collaborating on a play with several theatrical groups in Richmond, VA, thanks to a generous grant from the Arcus Foundation.

Because people process information in different ways, every year we think of new ways to tell the military family story, and as things change, we try to keep up with history.

We could not have received the Corey award without all the people out there—to include Nucleus readers—who have offered suggestions, contributed a story or two, or who have answered a call to volunteer or to donate items.  We depend on the generosity of strangers to donate a dollar to two to our coffers to fund a project and to help us pay the rent.

We are excited for the future—and want to thank you for your support—and your trust. We could not tell your story without your permission—and we are proud that so many people have trusted us with their memories.

If you haven’t visited us, yet—please do—we are open weekends from 12:30-5:00 and by appointment.


Phil Pohl, Special Projects Manager, Director Circe Olson Woessner, and Allen Dale Olson Secretary/Public Affairs in front of the Museum in Tijeras

 

MAMF to publish novel in 2017

Museum of the American Military Family To Publish Korean War Novel

At its March Open House, The Museum of The American Military Family announced the acquisition of the novel, Battle Songs: A Story of the Korean War in Four Movements.   Written by Author in Residence Paul Zolbrod, a retired Allegheny College English Professor now living in New Mexico, it will be published by the newly established MAMF Press this spring. It follows four draftees inducted from mining and farming communities in rural Western Pennsylvania to fight in Korea in the early nineteen fifties. There each must each must confront the absurdity of combat within the framework of hisown identity to understand a war that remains unresolved to this day.

Copies are expected to go on sale by early April, with all proceeds slated to help underwrite routine Museum operating expenses. This book comes on the heels of an earlier Museum publication, From the Frontlines to the Home Front, an anthology of reflections of deployment edited by Zolbrod and written by veterans themselves, as well as family members of those who served over a period covering World War II through the campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq.   Copies are being distributed without charge by way of a series of open discussions sponsored by the Museum thanks to a New Mexico Humanities Council grant. Or they will be available directly from the Museum in exchange for a donation.

Plans are underway for another Museum anthology, War Child: Lessons Learned from Growing Up in War, again, with a family perspective in keeping with the Museum’s mission. Those wishing to contribute a story of their own are invited to do so. It should express a child’s point of view but from all perspectives–service members who were still teen-agers when deployed; adults who as children grew up in a war zone; or children who had a parent or sibling serving in war. Submissions can be about the recent campaigns, Vietnam, the Korean War era, World War II, and all conflicts in between. All pieces should be from a child’s perspective and, if applicable, include a reflection or lesson learned from the experience.

The Museum would especially like to include stories from children and young adults whose parents are currently serving. A story can be as long or as short as the writer chooses. Just make it heartfelt, honest, and interesting. We are looking for stories of trial and triumph and loss–stories that illustrate the variety of events that impact on day-to-day family life in war times. Potential writers do not have to consider themselves accomplished writers to participate. Editorial services will be available to sharpen contributions when needed. Stories can be submitted online to mamfwriter@gmail.com

The Museum of the American Military family is a non-profit organization with a national outreach headquartered in Tijeras, New Mexico.

 

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

 

 

TOURISM IN NEW MEXICO

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

MAMF Welcomes New Members to the Team

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’ve Found a Building to Buy: How You Can Help!

After years of looking, the Museum of the American Military Family has found a great building in a perfect location in Albuquerque, NM.

It will cost around $220,000 to buy. With your support, we can create a physical museum dedicated to our unique culture.

Your tax deductible contribution in any amount will help us continue to:

  • Honor America’s Military Families
  • Share their stories
  • Preserve their legacies
  • Recognize the countless men, women and children who stand beside America’s Service Members

We are a 501c3 nonprofit with an all-volunteer Board. Your support will be acknowledged in the museum building.

It will take all of us to create this unique museum–we appreciate your support!

 

please donate here:

http://www.museumoftheamericanmilitaryfamily.org/SponsorsandDonations.html

 

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