New Exhibit and Anthology Coming September 17

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VA employees on 1188-mile motorcycle ride to honor fallen Veterans and to raise awareness of Veteran Suicide.

The 2017 Iron Vet Ride leaves from the Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center in Wichita and ends at the Raymond G. Murphy Medical Center in Albuquerque. Photo from 2016 Iron Vet Ride

Photo: Tara Cisneros

By Circe Olson Woessner

On September 23, 2017, VA employees from the Wichita, KS, Regional Office will begin their 1188-mile ride from Wichita to Albuquerque, NM and back to honor America’s fallen Veterans.

The “Iron Vet Ride” is open to all comers and is being organized by VA employees with the help of the AMVETS Riders Chapter 14, Clovis, NM, Chapter 181, Raymore, MO, and Chapter 36, Wichita, KS.  In Albuquerque, VFW Post 401, American Legion Riders Post 99, Chapter 22, the Raymond G. Murphy Medical Center and the NM Veterans Memorial are planning events for Saturday evening and Sunday morning in support of Iron Vet.

“The Iron Vet Ride is about getting VA, Veterans Service Organizations, and the community working together for a common goal, and to raise awareness about Veteran Suicide. It is a great feeling to be there supporting the families”, says Brett Wells, event organizer and Wichita Regional Office employee.

Originally, the ride honored SGT Kyle B. Osborn and LCPL Joshua Eli Witsman who died in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and SFC Travis S. Bachman who was killed by an IED in Iraq. This year’s ride also honors Albuquerque native PO2 Jamie Langfitt.

Christina Camacho, a social worker at the Albuquerque VA says, “The Iron Vet Ride gives us an opportunity to work with community to raise awareness about suicide prevention efforts. We want Veterans to know we are here when they are facing a crisis and will give them the support they need. We’re striving to reach the National goal of getting to 0 deaths that are caused by an act of suicide.”

Cervantes restaurant and Post 401 are hosting a dinner for the riders and community on Saturday evening at the post. Representatives from the VA Medical Center and the Suicide Prevention team will be featured speakers at the dinner.

On Sunday morning, the riders will take part in a brief early morning ceremony at the Veteran’s Memorial on Louisiana before heading back East.

For more information about the event, or to learn how you can help, please  contact  Brett Wells at brett.wells@va.gov or Christina Camacho at Christina.Camacho@va.gov .

 


Motorcycle Ride to Raise Awareness about Veteran Suicide


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“INSIDE OUT” – LGBT Military Veterans Share Their Truth A New Exhibit at the Museum of the American Military Family

For Immediate Release

 For Additional Information: Dr. Circe Olson Woessner, Executive Director (505) 504-6830

Inside Out: Memories from Inside the Closet, a new exhibit at the Museum of the American Military Family (MAMF) in Tijeras, debuts on September 17 with a special music and spoken word program from 1:00 to 3:00 pm. The exhibit is a collection of special works painted on military uniforms by LGBT military veterans and will launch the release of a MAMF anthology titled SHOUT! Sharing Our Truth — stories by LGBT veterans and family members about their experiences both in the military and in re-integrating into civilian communities. Anthology authors will read from their works during the program. The book is co-edited by Dr. Circe Olson Woessner, MAMF Executive Director, and Lora Beldon, Founder of Military Kid Art and Co-Director of Military Brat Institute.

Woessner explains that “MAMF is an all-inclusive Museum dedicated to present all aspects of life in and around military service. Through our anthology and this exhibit, we share with the public unique stories that haven’t often been told.”

Beldon says she is “honored to be able to be a part of the military family museum by co-editing the SHOUT Anthology. The military family museum does wonderful work for our communities, both military and civilian. Any time someone makes a huge effort to reach out to military brats young and old and then  reaches  even further to military communities that are more marginalized! People reach out so seldom, that you have to take notice of those people or groups that make that effort. The military family museum does it over and over and over.”

Woessner says the exhibit program is “exceptionally timely because of recent announcements from the White House about transgender citizens serving in the military and because it presents views of LGBT military life during the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell era.’”

Inside Out” will run through mid-October and is free to visitors. Also on display are the MAMF permanent exhibits showing the sacrifices and service of military families, the history of elementary and secondary schools around the world for military kids, and a collection of humorous cartoons about military life.

MAMF is open Saturdays and Sundays from 12:30 till 6:00 pm or by appointment. It is at 546B State Highway 333 (Old Route 66) in Tijeras right next to Molly’s Bar. Telephone: (505) 504-6830; e-mail militaryfamilymuseum@comcast.net. More information is available at www.militaryfamilymuseum.org.

 


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