FAST-PACED FALL FOR MAMF
Allen Dale Olson, Secretary/Public Affairs
From Lovington to Los Alamos — “Sacrifice & Service,” the exhibit that attracted 17,116 visitors during its stay in the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History between Memorial Day and Labor Day, spent two months in the Lea County History Museum will spend December in the Mesa Public Library in Los Alamos.
“Sacrifice & Service” is very much on our minds these days, as it will return home to Albuquerque right after the New Year’s holiday, and though we have arrangements to store it, we are hoping to find it a permanent home.
Meantime, we have started another exhibit and we’re calling it “Schooling with Uncle Sam,” the story of the Defense Department Dependents Schools and the students and teachers who have experienced them. We hope to have it completed by spring 2015.
More than 200 attendees came to the International Balloon Museum on November 15 for a “Salute to Our Heroes,” a day-long tribute to Veterans and their families sponsored by the host museum and our own Museum of the American Military Family. It included motorcade processions, the presentation of a flag as a symbol of appreciation to Veterans who have died alone and/or without family, music by the New Mexico Territorial Civil War Band, and crafts activities for kids.
Board Members have been involved in meetings with the National Guard Commander, the Director of Albuquerque Cultural Services, the Mayor of Tijeras, the City Council of Edgewood, the Rotary Club in Gallup and VFW Post 401 about programming and about finding a permanent home. Our Director of Operations and Strategic Planning, Wanda Umber, has been working with a special committee of INTEL volunteers to develop a colorful and informative brochure to help tell our story. Unfortunately, our Treasurer, Jayne Pilley has had to step down, due to personal reasons, so we are searching for someone to manage our accounts and handle our IRS and Public Regulation Commission requirements.
Our Writer-in-Residence, Carolyn LeBlanc, successfully co-produced six successful performances of a dramatization, “Telling, Albuquerque,” allowing Veterans and family members to share their experiences of combat and military family life. We are also proud to say she won two significant awards in the 17th annual Veterans Art Show. Caroline will soon be facilitating a “Talking Service” reading/discussion program for Veterans sponsored by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the New Mexico Humanities Council.
All in all, 2014 has been a productive and active year for the Museum of the American Military Family and Learning Center.
2015 already looks as if the momentum will continue—we are redesigning our website, we will host several film programs in Gallup and in the village of Tijeras. (Both in New Mexico.) We are narrowing down our permanent location search—several sites have been identified and proposals submitted—now the wait, and fundraising—begins!
We hope to open “Schooling With Uncle Sam” in mid to late summer, and continue collecting stories and artifacts which tell the story of America’s Military Families.