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Exchange Celebrates Military Brats Throughout April for Month of the Military Child

Army & Air Force Exchange Service Public Affairs

NEWS RELEASE: 18-029                                                    March 21, 2018

EXCHANGE MEDIA CONTACT: JULIE MITCHELL – mitchelljul@aafes.com

Exchange Celebrates Military Brats Throughout April for Month of the Military Child

In-Store Events, Giveaways and More Will Honor Sacrifices of These Special Heroes Worldwide

 DALLAS –The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is saluting military brats—our nation’s youngest heroes—throughout April with in-store events and giveaways as well as ShopMyExchange.com sweepstakes in honor of the Month of the Military Child.

“The resiliency of military children makes it possible for Soldiers and Airmen to remain focused on their mission,” said Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Luis Reyes, Exchange senior enlisted advisor. “These kids are a special part of the military family—they are serving too. The Exchange is privileged to recognize their service and sacrifice.”

To honor Warfighters’ children’s service and fearless spirit, the Exchange is partnering with Vanguard on the first-ever military brat patch, available for free while supplies last at select Main Stores worldwide April 7. Stripes Alterations coupons valued at $5 will allow kids to have the patch sewn on a personal item.

Celebrations continue all month long. In-store family-friendly events let kids explore with Legos, Nerf and more. On April 18, participating Exchange restaurants will Purple Up for Military Kids, offering a free side item, fountain drink or dessert for kids wearing purple.

The Exchange, in partnership with vendors including Ashley, Habsro, Coca-Cola and more, is giving away nearly $50,000 in prizes via sweepstakes throughout April. Authorized shoppers can enter all sweepstakes at //ShopMyExchange.com/sweepstakes.

Each April, the Month of the Military Child recognizes the contributions of Warfighters’ children to the armed forces community. For information about the Exchange’s 2018 Month of the Military Child celebrations, visit //ShopMyExchange.com/MOMC.

Soldiers and Airmen can contact their local Exchanges for more information about the military brat patch giveaway, in-store events and the Purple Up treat. For information about your nearest Exchange, please visit the store locator page at //ShopMyExchange.com/exchange-stores/.

Facebook-Friendly Version: The Army & Air Force Exchange Service salutes military brats throughout the Month of the Military Child with in-store events, online sweepstakes and more. Find out more: http://bit.ly/2IGrbva

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Since 1895, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (Exchange) has gone where Soldiers, Airmen and their families go to improve the quality of their lives by providing valued goods and services at exclusive military pricing. The Exchange is the 56th-largest retailer in the United States. Its earnings provided $2.4 billion in dividends to support military morale, welfare and recreation programs over the last 10 years. The Exchange is a non-appropriated fund entity of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors. To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.shopmyexchange.com or follow us on Twitter athttps://twitter.com/ExchangePAO.

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Media Notes:

 

For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Julie Mitchell, 214-312-3327 or mitchelljul@aafes.com.

Follow the Exchange:

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/shopmyexchange

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/shopmyexchange

Instagram: @shopmyexchange


Such is the Power of Smell

by Circe Olson Woessner

This time of year, New Mexico is cloaked in a shroud of hazy wood smoke from hundreds of fireplaces. As I walk by certain houses, I smell creosote, or uncured wood, or the wonderful piñon—this is the smell of winter.

Cocooned under my thick down comforter, the smell of freshly brewed coffee wafting down the hallway is the thing that rousts me out of bed.

Smell is something that can transport us back to a particular space and time—to bad times and good.

When my son was six, we took him to see Jurassic Park at the post movie theater. Later that night, he came screaming into our bed; he was sweaty and trembling—and for the first time, I smelled terror. His entire body oozed it from every pore.

Veterans tell me that they remember vividly the odors of war—even 50 years back. Vietnam had its distinct smell. Read the rest of this entry »


Boy Scouts-Trying to Make the World Better

In 1952, I left, to attend a Boy Scout jamboree with other scouts to spend two weeks in Blair Atholl, Scotland We were the sons of American military personnel who were stationed in a southern Germany as part of the allied occupation force. It had only been a recent practice to participate in any form of group activity with local people, due to the disparity of living conditions and the after shock of the war years. We traveled on an olive drab military bus as far as the coast of the English channel at Ostend, Belgium.

All along our route we saw the terrible evidence of the war that had just been fought. Our presence, for some was their first contact with American youth. As I look back I remember how hard we worked to leave a good impression:

When we rode on the ship to England, we found a group of touring middle age women who had been visiting loved ones buried in the military cemeteries. Some of us, with guitars (Tony Phillips and David Murphy, I believe) led them in songs.

At the train station we drew the attention of the BBC, who noticed that we were going down the aisles passing out small packages of marshmallows. We learned that few of them had not seen or tasted a marshmallow before. At the beginning of our trip. each of us packed a can of Hormel ham to share with our host families. We realized that the British were still under a strict food rationing system. At the Tower of London, we were told that the only ones in England who were given a daily ration of meat were the ravens who populated the large courtyard.

We were awakened from our tents, in Scotland by the thrilling sound of bagpipes. I even accomplished a ‘l rounder’ in a Cricket game. I think, for all of us, that we so wanted to make the battle scarred world whole again.

 

By Hudson Phillips.


My Marine Mom


A Caribbean Christmas

Christmas in the Caribbean is the exact flavor of surreal that defines a military childhood, in my opinion.

You’ve got palm trees strung up with lights, you’ve got fake pine trees laid out on lawns or propped up in living rooms, you’ve got songs about snow and frost ringing out on sweltering 90-degree days – Santa wears shorts in Puerto Rico.

The military base even offset its general austerity, Christmas decorations breaking up the monotony of uniform neighborhoods. I feel like the soldiers enjoyed playing Santa, up until the point where they had to put on a coat to complete the part.

I remember steering a boat along the marina on a cooler tropical evening alongside a local Santa, who was kind enough to let me control the helm as we coasted on the waves. I couldn’t have been older than seven or eight.

I never felt like Christmas was “proper” when I was a kid – I was annoyed at the contradictions to what the Christmas of my movies and television shows portrayed to what I saw outside, endless sunny days instead of snowy ones. I longed for that which I did not have, that “normal” Christmas cheer, with all the trimmings to go with it.

Now, of course, with hindsight, I have more affection for those tropical holidays, where still we tucked presents under a great big tree, decorated with ornaments from Germany, France, America – and some local crafts too, joining that map of a lifetime hung every year on our military family Christmas tree.

It’s quite a life, a sort of hazy dream at the best of times – a childhood of ever-shifting scenes, a panorama of Christmasses in lands and climates radically different from one another. I would eventually get my snowy Christmasses, my icy winters, and there’s a strong possibility that in the future, as my travels continue, I may yet again enjoy that surreal sort of Christmas, on a tropical island far, far away.

–Iain Woessner