Lazy days of summer? Not for the Volunteers of the Museum of the American Military Family. Two exhibits running simultaneously – “Schooling with Uncle Sam” at the Albuquerque Special Collections Library and “Sacrifice & Service” in the Wheels Museum at the historic Albuquerque Rail Yards. The “Schooling Exhibit” received world-wide press in the Stars and Stripes daily newspaper serving U.S. Forces wherever they are.

But summer was more than exhibit time. We found a home! On August 1 we moved our artifacts, archives, library, documents, records, furniture, and everything else into the Bataan Military Academy on McLeod Boulevard in Albuquerque. By the end of September, we should be fully set up and functioning from our own premises.

The move also strengthened our partnership with the American Overseas Schools Historical Society (AOSHS) who will send us part of their library and bricks and pavers and whose President, Gayle Vaughn-Wiles, will join our Advisory Council. AOSHS also provided publications and artifacts for the Schooling Exhibit.

Mid-summer set the stage for several upcoming events, as we met with staff members of the International Balloon Fiesta Museum and the Explora Childrens’ Museum to plan programs for the week of Veterans Day.

The Explora program will revolve around showings of the documentary film, “A Touch of Home – The Vietnam War’s Red Cross Girls,” popularly known as “Doughnut Dollies.” The Red Cross will bring us some local former “Dollies” to help with discussions about the film, and will bring along authentic Red Cross uniforms of the period to be modeled by students who will actually pass out doughnuts to visitors. Additionally, the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department will display a Huey helicopter just like the ones the Doughnut Dollies knew in Vietnam.

Five of our Volunteers – Judy (and husband Ed), Elizabeth, Ernest, Larry (Wolfman), and Ole – staffed our information booth at the New Mexico State Fair and interacted with more than 100 curious visitors and coaxed a couple dozen postcard messages from some of them as part of the Postcard Project.

Judy and Circe, along with Barb, are taking the lead in creating an October 4th variety show in collaboration with Heels for Combat Boots and the 66 Pinup Girls as a fund-raiser in Albuquerque’s Sidewinders Bar.

Also in October – The Homeless Stand Down, where we’ll join forces with other groups to provide scarves, mittens, gloves, and other clothing items for homeless Veterans and their families.

So summer ends on a positive note of major events accomplished and major events on the horizon. MAMF has come a long way in just over three years!