For Immediate Release
September 22, 2016
50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War to be Commemorated at Special Ceremony in Las Vegas, N.M.
Friday, September 30 (10 a.m.) at Veterans Park (Mills Ave. & 4th Street)
(LAS VEGAS, NM) –The 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War will be commemorated at a special 10 a.m. ceremony on September 30 in Las Vegas, New Mexico, at Veterans Park, located across from the
Gene Torres Golf Course at the intersection of Mills Ave. and Fourth Street.
The ceremony recognizes and honors those who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces while the U.S. was involved in Vietnam. VA data indicates more than nine million Americans served in the military during the Vietnam War era-including more than three million in southeast Asia. It is being presented as part of a nationwide initiative issued by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates in 2008 to honor America’s Vietnam War veterans, and to also commemorate the 50th anniversary of our country’s involvement in the war which lasted from November, 1955, to May 15, 1975. A 2012 Presidential Proclamation extended the commemoration through Veterans Day, 2025. The commemorative effort makes no distinction between veterans who served in-country, in-theater, or were stationed elsewhere during the Vietnam War era. All answered the call of duty.
New Mexico Department of Veterans’ Services State Cemetery Program Director and Vietnam War veteran Thomas Wagner is serving as the Official State Chairman of New Mexico’s Vietnam War 50th Commemoration effort. The September 30th commemoration ceremony in Las Vegas, N.M., is presented by the New Mexico Department of Veterans’ Services, the American Legion Riders Chapter 26, the Santa Fe National Cemetery, the Santa Fe Vet Center, the New Mexico State Council of the Vietnam Veterans of America, and Vietnam Veterans of America Northern New Mexico Chapter 1063.
All Vietnam War-era veterans attending the ceremony will be presented with a certificate of appreciation for their service during the war, and a special 50th Anniversary Commemorative Pin.
The first commemoration ceremony in the state was presented on June 18 in Santa Fe. In an effort to reach as many Vietnam War-era veterans as possible, ceremonies in other cities are being planned by the NMDVS over the next couple of years.
For more information, contact NMDVS Event Coordinator Josetta Rodriguez at email@example.com.
Old Route 66 is getting a new tenant. The nation’s only museum dedicated to the mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, spouses, and other family members of those who serve and have served in America’s military is settling in at the I-40 interchange with Tijeras. Founder and Executive Director, Dr. Circe Olson Woessner, says the move is going well, “and we plan a grand opening at 3:30 p.m. on July 9.”
Till last summer, MAMF was an on-line presence, but last July set up temporarily in the Bataan Military Academy yet continued providing programs in various venues, to include Explora, the Balloon Museum, the National Nuclear Museum, the South Broadway Cultural Center, the Special Collections Library, the Veterans Memorial Park, schools, and patriotic ceremonies around the state. Its Operation Footlocker mobile exhibit program travels throughout the country and its Flat Stanley and Flat Stella programs follow military families around the world.
“Like everything we do,” Woessner said, “our move to Tijeras is done by volunteers. We are an all-volunteer entity with no paid staff, and our programs and classes are supported by grants, donors, and volunteers, and they’ve all been packing, carrying, unpacking, cleaning, and painting to get us ready to open next month. All of our board members and advisors are volunteers.”
Woessner said the new facility will have an artifacts/exhibit area, a library, a crafts room, and a gift shop. “We’re in a house,” she said; “the former home of Molly who established the historic destination bar bearing her name, so as visitors walk in they’ll see what could be the home of a military family that makes a new home every two or three years.”
Exhibition panels describe the various elements affecting family life in the military and the kinds of schools military children attend around the world.
“We’ll be open Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays,” she said, “and we’ll be free to the public.” She said there’s plenty of free parking and praised the attractiveness of the Tijeras Pass leading some seven miles east of Albuquerque along Old Route 66 (Central Avenue), including the “Musical Road.”
The Museum of the American Military Family (MAMF) is at 546B State Highway 333 (Old Route 66), Tijeras, NM 87059. Tel: (505) 504-6830; firstname.lastname@example.org; P.O. Box 5085, Albuquerque, NM 87185. militaryfamilymuseum.org
Summer is PCS season, and even though my husband and I have long retired in the Albuquerque area, I usually get restless in June. As a military family, we moved 18 times in 20 years, and the Wanderlust just doesn’t go away. I find myself searching USAJobs, the federal employment website, to see where there are job openings I can apply for.
Several weeks ago, I came home to my adoring family, and asked, “Anyone want to move to Cheyenne?” The silence was deafening. “How about Guam?” Again, there were no takers. My family, apparently, has settled—permanently. It’s probably for the best—imaginary moving is much easier on the household goods than the real thing.
Years ago when we PCSed from Germany to Alabama, we found that movers had stacked heavy book boxes on our antique couch, causing it to collapse in a V shape. It never recovered, and we ended up throwing it away.
It could have been worse, as Air Force Brat William recalls, “When we left Greece, the Greek company the Air Force hired went bankrupt and opened the warehouse to their employees. We lost most of our household goods. It really hit me hard. We had about two-thirds of our furniture missing. The Air Force made good on the claim, but you can’t really put a price on all that childhood stuff I lost.”
Leslie, another Brat, agrees, “In the early 60s we were stationed in West Germany. Back then, they did not allow for much weight because the Army provided most furnishings. One day I came home from school and Mom was crying. The ‘fireproof’ storage in the States had burned down– all of our pictures, doll collection from Japan and Korea, and souvenirs from prior assignments—were gone. The government paid insurance of pennies on the dollar. While I realize they were just ‘things’ –for us, they were our history.”
Of course, every military family has a funny moving story or two—the packers shipping the trash or full diaper pail—or worse—in one case, raw fish that was being defrosted for dinner!
Most military family members can tell similar stories. Colleen remembers, “My sister had a birthday party the day before our move from Texas to Italy. When our crate arrived several months later, we found all the balloons, completely deflated, carefully wrapped in paper.
David says, “One mover tried packing my cat, thinking it was a stuffed animal because the cat had not moved from the couch the entire time the movers were there packing boxes. Boy did he get a surprise!”
There were near disasters as well. One man found his cat in the bottom right drawer of his desk when he got to Klamath, CA. He explains, “She was fine. A little confused, but it was only a two-day trip from McCord.”
Falena sums it up, “I loved the things I learned about moving in Brat life because I can move better than anyone I know without breakage or loss. That ‘change in latitude, change in attitude’ kind of lifestyle runs deep and long.”
It is somewhat like riding a bicycle—some skills are never lost. Even now, my packing skills are formidable—and a godsend.
The Museum of the American Military Family is relocating to Tijeras this month. It is, in military terms, a DITY move. I’ve managed to stuff my Explorer to the brim–somewhat like a Tetris puzzle–making sure nothing rattles around and everything arrives unbroken at its destination. Most of the board and volunteers are also military, and I know we will do much better than any commercial mover—we are the experts after all.
Starting July 9, come visit MAMF at its new location at 546 State Hwy 333 (Old 66) in Tijeras, NM, right next to Molly’s Bar. Call (505) 504-6830 for hours and more information.
Memorial Day will soon be here.
Many see this as a three day weekend or the unofficial start to Summer. Some will understand and pay their respects/remember those that died while serving for a few moments.
OVERSEAS BRATS (OSB) created years ago a memorial to remember those Brats who died while serving, everyday. Not just Memorial Day. OSB takes this one step further to recognize those Brats who died while serving in law enforcement. They too served. Visit the memorial at: www.overseasbrats.com/BratMemorial.asp .
Please note: This is a list of those Brats/Educator who were reported to OVERSEAS BRATS and NOT a list of all Brats/Educators who died while serving in the military/law enforcement. Read the rest of this entry »