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!


Exhibit on Department of Defense Schools Worldwide Brings Back Memories for Military Families Who Were Stationed Abroad

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEContact:     Dr. Allen Dale OlsonPhone 505-400-3849 

Exhibit on Department of Defense Schools Worldwide Brings Back Memories

for Military Families Who Were Stationed Abroad

 ALBUQUERQUE, NM, July 27, 2015—A special exhibit at the Special Collections Library’s Botts Hall chronicles the experiences of families who were based in locations around the world: Military families whose children might attend five or more schools by the time they graduated from high school.

“Schooling with Uncle Sam,” is focused on the history of the 181 schools for military dependents located in the U.S. Spread from the Far and Middle East to Western Europe. Self-titled “Military BRATS,” the children of military families, from lowest to highest ranks, attend Department of Defense Education Agency Schools and build strong ties and cherished memories through their varied experiences.

The exhibit features comments from dozens of students, teachers and parents remarking on their experiences during various tours of duty—which involved the whole family. “Together We Serve” is the tagline of the Museum of the American Military Family and Learning Center, an organization whose mission is to bring together people with shared experiences showcasing and honoring those who also served–America’s Military Families. Artifacts from school experiences        provided by those who attended or taught at DODEA schools bring the story home to the many retired military and BRATS who live in our area, as well as those who did not serve in the military, but want to learn more about the experience of those who do.

The new exhibit includes detailed information about the history and growth of the schools, anecdotes from students who attended them, and a host of artifacts that include: a 1948 report card; teachers’ guides; books on learning to speak, write and sing in the language of their new home; school flags and pennants; posters; school photos; yearbooks; athletic jackets and trophies; a high school diploma; a bison head that was worn by the varsity mascot at the Mannheim, Germany high school; a statement from General Colin Powell, US Army, Ret.; and much more. Many of the artifacts in the exhibit are provided by the American Overseas Schools Historical Society (AOSHS), based in Wichita, Kansas.

“Schooling with Uncle Sam” is free to the public and available at the Special Collections Library, 423 Central Avenue NE (corner of Central and Edith). The library is open from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, except for Thursdays, when it opens at 11 a.m. and closes at 7 p.m. Please stop by and learn more about how children of military families received excellent education in places around the world thanks to “Uncle Sam.” To access the exhibit, please check in at the library’s Information Desk. The exhibition closes on August 22.

The Museum of the American Military Family and Learning Center (MAMF) collects and preserves the stories, experiences, documents, photos, and artifacts of the mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, spouses, siblings, and others who have loved and supported a member of America’s military services from Revolutionary War times to modern times. MAMF is an all-volunteer not-for-profit online entity in quest of a permanent home in Albuquerque and is launching a capital campaign to support that quest.

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Month of the Military Child

Slide1 2Story from the Army News Service  and  The Bayonet Photo: Bing copyright-free images

Whereas, since 1986, Army installations around the world recognize the sacrifices and applaud the courage of military children by celebrating the Month of the Military Child throughout the month of April; and

Whereas, each day, military children undergo unique challenges, which they face with resilience and dignity beyond their years; and

Whereas, it is essential to recognize that military children make significant contributions to the country while dealing with uncertainty and concern for their parents during extended hours and long deployments; and

Whereas, the high demand of Family responsibility that military children accept takes courage and strength as they serve the Nation along with their parents; and

Whereas, our men and women in uniform cannot focus on the missions or challenges ahead if they are concerned about their children at home; and

Whereas, the Army strives to provide a safe, nurturing environment for military children to enable a stronger and more resilient fighting force; and

Whereas, the Month of the Military Child reinforces this concept, reminds the nation that the service members’ children also serve, and gives communities an opportunity to share their gratitude for the service of military children; and

Now, therefore, we hereby join the nation in honoring our military children throughout the month of April.

John M. McHugh Secretary of the Army

Gen. Raymond T. Odierno Army chief of staff

Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel A. Dailey Sergeant Major of the Army

Read more here:

Talking Service: A Reading & Discussion Program for New Mexico Veterans

BannerImage_SRCContact: Circe Olson Woessner at (505) 504-6830; Museum of the American Military Family

Contact: Michelle Quisenberry at (505) 633.7370; New Mexico Humanities Council

 Albuquerque, March 27, 2015– In a unique collaboration, the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce has joined forces with the New Mexico Humanities Council and the Museum of the American Military Family to offer Talking Service, a new reading and discussion program for veterans to reflect on their service and the transition to civilian life.  The program will take place in April on Wednesday evenings from 6:30pn-8:00pm. At the Hispano Chamber of Commerce, veterans can come together to discuss military themed readings from the anthology, Standing Down. The discussions will be facilitated by Caroline LeBlanc, Writer-in-Residence of the Museum of the American Military Family.

Talking Service, hosted at the Hispano Chamber of Commerce, is part of a national initiative by the Great Books Foundation and state humanities councils to offer veterans the opportunity to reflect on their service and talk openly about their challenges and future aspirations.  It is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities Standing Together initiative, which encourages humanities programs that focus on the history, experience, or meaning of war and military service.  The Great Books Foundation donated copies of Standing Down to state humanities councils, who in turn provide the textbooks to participating veterans in their states.


Talking Service is free and open to past and present members of the Armed Forces. For more information about the program and how to join, please contact Dr. Circe Olson Woessner, Executive Director , Museum of the American Military Family at 505 504-6830 Read the rest of this entry »


The “Whereases” kept coming, each one more laudatory than the preceding one as the New Mexico House of Representatives Chief Clerk read House Memorial Bill 28 “recognizing the Museum of the American Military Family and Learning Center and the Importance of the American Military Family.”

HM 28 was sponsored and introduced by Representative Bill McCamley, Democrat of Las Cruces, and supported by several Members of both parties testifying in favor of this Museum which is focusing on experiences such as their own growing up with or being married to a person serving in one of the military services. Representative McCamley cited his own life in the military and the work MAMF is doing as his reasons for sponsoring the Bill. Read the rest of this entry »

Some highlights from MAMF’s very busy 2014:

Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better [person].     Benjamin Franklin

We at the Museum of the American Military Family would like to thank all of you who have helped us have a successful and wonderful year. We appreciate your kind words, support and participation! We look forward to a great 2015–

Some highlights from MAMF’s very busy 2014:


-Screened the Documentary Brown Babies at the South Broadway Cultural Center in Albuquerque, NM


Created two aprons for display as part of the Womyn’s Work Apron Project in Albuquerque

May through September

Exhibit: Sacrifice & Service: The American Military Family at the National Nuclear Museum (seen by 17, 116 visitors)

Activities as part of the exhibit: Read the rest of this entry »


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. Read the rest of this entry »


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