A Special February Class at the Museum of the American Military Family



Our museum will have a valentine making class for children and adults in the gallery on Saturday, February 3, 2018 from 1:00- 3:00 pm. Learn to make a beautiful pierced-paper lace valentine. There will be other options to choose from.

The class will cost $2.00 per person (for supplies)

Contact number for reservations: 505-400-3849

546B State Route 333 (old route 66), Tijeras, 7 miles east of Tramway. (Next to Molly’s Bar.)




Looking Back & Moving Forward!

Some quick facts:

 Books in our Special Collections Library:  651

Folios of first-hand memories: 220

 Original Letters Home dating from WWI to present: 115

As we look back at our museum’s accomplishments for 2017, we are grateful for the support we have had over the past year, and we are also amazed at what we have accomplished with our very small, but determined all-volunteer Board of Directors.

2017 Accomplishments:

  • Built and dedicated a memorial honoring military families
  • Compiled and published 3 anthologies
  • Created SHOUT/Inside Out exhibit
  • Hosted the War Child/Battlefield Home weekend of reflection
  • Designed and constructed our Victory Garden and Brat-Hood project
  • Dedicated our Flagpole
  • Hosted 3 Naturalization ceremonies
  • Hosted 2 Open Houses
  • Presented Vietnam: A Tale of Two Wars
  • Conducted a transformative paper making workshop for women veterans
  • Started the 5th Thursday programs
  • Hosted a Leadership class retreat
  • Coordinated the New Mexico Midway leg for Run for the Wall

2018 is looking just as busywe plan to do the following:

  • Get an AV system for the memorial
  • Continue the 5th Thursday program
  • Participate in the Veterans’ winterfest weekend in Angelfire
  • Present a second exhibit: STILL SHOUTING!
  • Healing & Recovery Journey workshops and exhibits
  • Host quarterly Naturalization ceremonies
  • Valentine-making workshop for children
  • Create and publish a Christmas graphic novel
  • Film a short documentary
  • Create a stage play based on stories from SHOUT!
  • Collaborate with the Love-Armor Project for an event in Santa Fe


The museum counts on grants and small donations from community members to bring these events free of charge to the public. We are active on Facebook, Twitter, our 3 Podcasts and 7 blogs. You can link to all of them through our webpage at: www.militaryfamilymuseum.org.

 Please consider donating to MAMF to ensure its continued success and the preservation of military family historyany amount is greatly appreciated!


Physical Donations:  We are especially looking for:


Letters from troops to their families (originals and copies)

Memory stories from military spouses, parents and children (e-mail or snail mail)

Memory stories from DODDS Teachers (e-mail or snail mail)

Books by spouses and brats for our library

Family member memorabilia (anything)

Your military story written on a postcard.


Our mailing address is:


Museum of the American Military Family & Learning Center

PO Box 5085

Albuquerque, NM 87185











Hudson “Bill” Phillips MAMF Brat Liaison

Hudson “Bill” Phillips is the eldest son of a thirty-year career Army Air Corps and Regular Army chaplain. He was born in the Territory of Hawaii at Schofield Barracks in 1933, when officers wore leather boots and Sam Brown belts. He lived at the Statue of Liberty when he was 3 and 4. He lived at Selfridge Field, Michigan while the Air Corps still had WWI two winged Stinsons. He was at Forts Sherman and Davis in the Canal Zone while the military did its business with bugle calls and still used horses and mules. He and his family were evacuated from Panama when it became a war zone in 1941. He experienced war preparation, sleeping in a sandbagged bomb shelter, dodging U-boats in the Caribbean and conducted regular life boat drills.

Bill spent much of the war years in the Miami Beach (South Beach) area among civilians. He visited his father at Camp McCall, North Carolina, where his father trained as division chaplain of the 11th Airborne and jumping out of planes preparing to fight in Europe and the Philippines.  Hudson also attended a massive review for the Free French general Giraud, who was second only to general De Gaulle. Hudson attended high school at Texas Military Institute in San Antonio and served on its honor guard, greeting General Douglas MacArthur (former TMI graduate) when he visited the school and the Alamo. Bill and his family were stationed in Stuttgart, Germany where he graduated from Heidelberg American High School in its first graduating class at the old Bunsen Schule in Mark Twain village in 1952. The ‘Cold War’ and Occupation period left a final impression when he witnessed the return of German prisoners of war, from the Soviet Union, at the Stuttgart Hauptbahnhof.

Following graduation from Colgate University, as a History major, and with an advanced degree in Theology from Colgate Rochester Divinity School, Bill paid his final visit to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and ended his military Brat status. Though he took Air Force ROTC and received an honorable discharge from the Oklahoma 45th Division National Guard, Bill did not serve in active military duty because of his ordination into the Christian ministry in 1959.

His work would lead him through the breadth of American life: the ending of segregation in the South, the peace movement, and the Draft, the emergence of the counter culture and extensive work with emotionally challenged youth and people with special needs.

Bill and his wife Betty returned to Panama to visit the former military bases, see his elementary school classroom and walk up the steps of the former Fort Davis home that he had been evacuated from in 1941. Still a Brat at heart, the Phillips live just outside of Austin, Texas.


Free Admission, December 10, 12:30 – 4:30

The tools, musical instruments, garments, art work, and personal effects gathered by Dorothy Alonzo Cox from Libya, the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, India, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and England are on display in Tijeras at the Museum of the American Military Family (MAMF) and open to the public for the first time as part of a holiday open house in the Museum.

Visitors can tap out a tune on a Filipino Tallentang – eight brass gongs — and examine a leather camel whip. They can see a Victorian bug collection from England and a carved skull used for after-dinner drinks and the skin of a tiger shot by a police officer in India. There are brass trays, camel saddles, Coptic containers, and paintings of Arab and African village scenes and craftsmen. The Cox Collection has a little something for everyone.

Dorothy Cox lost her husband in the Korean War and decided to dedicate her teaching career to the Defense Department (DoD) Schools around the world; and just before her death in August 2016, she made it known she wanted to share her collections in a way where other DoD teachers and students, as well as the general public, could enjoy them, and her family presented them to MAMF.  They are now on display in the MAMF Library right next to Schooling with Uncle Sam, a permanent exhibit tracing the history and evolution of  the DoD schools, which includes descriptions by teachers and students about studying art with the Louvre in your front yard, or receiving your high school diploma in a Roman amphitheater, or making school field trips to Hiroshima or the Berlin Wall.

The history of the American military family is shown in a series of information panels spaced around a real house furnished just as a military family would have it – pictures on the mantel, starch and ironing board at the ready, uniforms handy, a wheel chair, cabinets loaded with beer steins, coffee cups, and tee shirts betraying where the family has been, and scrapbooks and photo albums from World War I to Iraq.

Other MAMF exhibits include panels depicting the sacrifice and service of military families, perspectives of military family life, and “G.I. Jokes,” which features a humorous look at military life through the pens of noted cartoonists and the characters they created.

The MAMF library also archives more than 500 books by and about military family life and folios of first-hand stories recounting events and experiences of the mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, spouses, and others who have loved and supported a member of America’s armed forces. MAMF has provided historical and personal material about third-culture children to university researchers, filmmakers, and historians from California to Germany and hosts discussion programs enabling civilians and Veterans to share thoughts and insights about the effects of war on family life.

Those effects of war are visible in an intimate memorial to a 14-year-old Vietnamese girl shown in a painting by an American soldier who watched her die as a result of a cross-fire and lamented that he was unable to help her. At the Museum entrance is a model bamboo cage like those used for prisoners of war in Vietnam, serving as a further reminder of the effects of war.

MAMF has published four anthologies: From the Frontlines to the Home Front – New Mexicans Reflect on War; War Child – Lessons Learned from Growing Up in War;  SHOUT! Sharing Our Truth; and Home Front Hearth, a collection of favorite recipes gathered from around the world by military families. The books are for sale in the museum gift shop.

The December 10 Holiday Open House runs from 12:30 to 4:30 and is free to the public. Attendees are invited to bring a military or international Christmas ornament to help decorate the MAMF holiday tree.

MAMF is a volunteer 501 c 3 entity with no paid staff. It has a Board of Directors and  liaison contacts with military-related organizations as well a writer and an artist-in-residence. It has memberships and partnerships with a number of museum associations. The MAMF

website is http://www.militaryfamilymuseum.org.

MAMF is at 546B State Route 333 (Old Route 66), right next to Molly’s, in Tijeras. Normal hours are 12:30 to 5:00 Saturdays and Sundays or by appointment. For information: Tel: (505) 504-6830. info@militaryfamilymuseum.org. Admission is free.


Children & War: A Weekend of Reflection

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