MAMF’s Exhibit, Sacrifice & Service: The American Military Family to Open in Lea County

Lea County Museum Photo



DATE: 10-7-2014

American Military Family Exhibit Opens at Lea County Museum Oct. 13

On Monday, Oct. 13, from 5 to 7 p.m., the Lea County Museum in Lovington will open to the public a traveling exhibit that focuses on the hardships and rewards experienced by families of U.S. military personnel.

Titled “Sacrifice & Service: The American Military Family” will be on loan for two months from the Museum of the American Military Family in Albuquerque.  Its debut showing was earlier this year at the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History, also located in Albuquerque.

Director of the MAMF Dr. Circe Woessner will be on hand for the opening of the exhibit in Lovington.  She is a former overseas brat whose husband served in the Army for 20 years before his retirement.

The exhibit focuses on several themes, including family members as unsung heroes, loss and grieving, and the importance of different forms of communications between families and those serving in the military.

The exhibit includes several ways for visitor interaction.  One way is that visitors can contribute to Operation Footlocker, a traveling repository of items and memorabilia put together by Military Brats.

Many generations of Military Brats grew up with footlockers—their transient lifestyle meant that their possessions had to be easily fit into something that could be packed up and moved away at a moment’s notice. Toys, books, keepsakes—anything that didn’t fit, often had to be left behind.

Now there is a footlocker for all Brats, traveling around the country, collecting items and memories—as a repository for trinkets and treasures of generations of Brats.

The footlocker travels around the USA–to Brat functions, to schools, to libraries…to anywhere people gather who want to learn more about the military family experience. People come, pour over the contents of the footlocker set out for display and frequently contribute their own items, registering them in the footlocker’s logbook. Some people choose to sit down on the spot and write out a favorite story or memory, adding it to the notebooks, which travel with the footlocker.

Inside a typical footlocker there many folders of stories, photos and memorabilia from Brats who attended schools on military installations in the US and Overseas. There are tee shirts, letter jackets, cheerleader sweaters, buttons, yearbooks from various DoD schools, and souvenirs from around the world. There are toys and letters, beer mugs and books—and each footlocker has a mascot.

Wherever the footlocker is, Brats gather, and tell their story by adding an item to the growing collection. Since 1996, there is now a “fleet” of seven footlockers. When they are not traveling the country, they reside at the Museum of the American Military Family in Albuquerque.

When you visit the exhibit, please bring an item or written memory piece with you to donate to the footlocker collections. Items can be dropped off at the Lea County Museum to be added to a footlocker after the exhibit closes. Donated items become part of the Museum of the American Military Family’s permanent collection.

The exhibit will remain at the Lea County Museum for two months until just before Christmas.

For more information about the exhibit, call the museum at 575-396-4805