Wanted: A Permanent Home

IMG_0933The Museum of the American Military Family & Learning Center needs your help. We’ve found a building to buy in Albuquerque, NM, and can take immediate possession with $35,000 down, and open the doors this summer.

MAMF honors Military Families—of all branches and all generations—If we all pitch in, we can help create a permanent museum showcasing Military Families.

All supporters will be recognized in the museum in a permanent display. Together, we can do this!

They are an all-volunteer 501c3 nonprofit. Your contribution will help make this a reality.

http://www.museumoftheamericanmilitaryfamily.org/SponsorsandDonations.html

 


We’ve Found a Building For MAMF–Please Help Us Buy it!

After years of looking, the Museum of the American Military Family has found a great building in a perfect location in Albuquerque, NM.

It will cost around $220,000 to buy. With your support, we can create a physical museum and library dedicated to our unique culture.

Your tax deductible contribution in any amount will help us continue to:

Honor America’s Military Families
Share their stories
Preserve their legacies
Recognize the countless men, women and children who stand beside America’s Service Members
We are a 501c3 nonprofit with an all-volunteer Board. Your support will be acknowledged in the museum building.

It will take all of us to create this unique museum–we appreciate your support!

please donate here:

http://www.museumoftheamericanmilitaryfamily.org/SponsorsandDonations.html


Moving to Germany—(Not the Recommended Way)

By Circe Olson Woessner

The curious thing about memories is that some details are quite clear, and others are foggy. This memory is how I remember the sequence of events unfolding, although the timeline might be flawed…27 years is a long time ago!

Erik, Bad Hersfeld, Germany

Erik, Bad Hersfeld, Germany

When it became obvious that we were moving to Germany, I got excited. Ft Sill was no longer interesting to me and I was eager to move onto my next adventure.

A true Army wife, (albeit brand new) I could shuck off an old life and location and embrace, full-on, a new one. Once a decision was made, I’d go full-speed ahead.

When my husband’s orders came, even though he had a couple of months left of school, I suggested I go over to Germany and stay with my parents who were living in Heidelberg.

My reasoning was this: I could start scouting out Bad Hersfeld– it was only a few hours away. I could get us a place lined up. Because our toddler was quite a distraction in our lives, my husband was not opposed to having some peace and quiet to study.

To save money, I decided to try to fly “Space A” out of Tinker Air Force Base, OK. We arrived at the BOQ and checked in with the other Space A people. Then the waiting began…my husband had to get back to school, so Erik and I spent 2-3 days waiting for a flight. We waited, eagerly, then impatiently, and finally admitted defeat.  I was not a high priority and because I had a child, there were additional considerations- which resulted in delaying our departure.

I called my husband who came and got us and took us back to Ft Sill.

Two weeks later,  we coughed up the money for a ticket, and drove to Dallas where Erik and I boarded a commercial Delta flight for Frankfurt.  Read the rest of this entry »


ORDERS TO PANAMA MOVING FROM SELFRIDGE FIELD (Michigan) TO FORT SHERMAN (Panama Canal Zone): March, 1939

by Hudson Phillips

While we searched through Atlases and encyclopedias to find Panama, my mother asked plaintively if they had a PX at Fort Sherman. Her newly purchased piano would not make the trip. Movers arrived with large wooden barrels filled with wood shavings and they packed my lead Finnish ski soldier, along with a toy auto gyro, Electric Flyer train set and remnants of games and playthings that I had already outgrown. It always seemed, in our moves, that things would be broken or misplaced.

When the barrels were filled and the house was empty, we gave our Cocker Spaniel, “Judy Wings,” to Major George (a family friend who would later serve with distinction in the defense of the Philippines and be killed in a training accident in Australia.)

THE VOYAGE

We drove through long stretches of farmland and small villages and towns, from Selfridge Field, Michigan, to New York: with three fidgeting children, mom smoking Pall Mall cigarettes, and dad lighting up an occasional White Owl cigar.  To while away the hours, we sang popular songs and listed to the car radio.  Politics was gearing up for the 1940 Presidential Election. Indiana Senator Wendell Wilkie’s high pitch, nasal, accent struck us funny. When he used the phrase “Razor blade of good will,” it sounded like he said “rahzer blad.”  We took turns imitating the expression, and used it, not only for miles, but for many years to come.  At journey’s end, dad swapped the Nash for an old Hudson. There was little use for a new car in the Canal Zone.

After two nights, at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, dividing up two small government mattresses between five people, we boarded the brightly marked liner, American Legion, I had, already been on ocean ships before. [Born at Schofield Barracks, Territory of Hawaii, I sailed back and forth on the military transport, Republic, three times.] The smells were familiar: tar, oil, hemp, food preparation and the ocean. The great moan of the ship’s horn signaled the beginning. Down a stairwell I saw the face of a girl my age looking up. We waved, smiled, and never saw one another again – typical of military Brat life experience. From the ship’s rail I watched tug boats nudge and push our ship into the harbor. We sailed past the Statue of Liberty, where my family had lived just two years before..  The great lady stood near my playground and the small two-story row of gray cement apartments.   It was then known as Bedloes Island. We had been part of the overflow of dependent families assigned to Governor’s Island.  We had a front row seat for  the dramatic arrivals of the Normandy and Queen Mary liners. My father often reflected on how Liberty’s torch had caused the bedroom windows to have to be blackened because the light was so bright we couldn’t sleep. I remember, very clearly, the time that older boys had left me at the base of the seawall after they climbed to escape the rising tide. Water had climbed to my shoes, and it was clear that I faced serious trouble.  I saw onlookers, on their way to Ellis Island, and a seagull that flew close by; but, I could not see above the wall. I had no promise rescue.  Fortunately, the Ferry had arrived from Governor’s Island.  My dad was notified by one of the boys and pulled me to safety.  He may have forgotten about the incident, now, but I could not look at the Statue without thinking of it. Read the rest of this entry »


Memory from Operation Footlocker: Commander’s Son

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Maids Quarters

By Kim Medders

photo

Here is the front of an apartment building in the Marshall Heights military housing area in Kitzingen Germany around 1957. This is an example of the standard living situation for most stationed in Germany with the exception of the balcony. Some had balconies; many did not. Those without balconies had picture windows instead.

My Dad took this photo from the maid’s quarters. The maid’s quarters were on the fourth floor with the dormer windows. Originally set up as living areas for the German maids employed by servicemen, by the late ’50s and early ’60s, they had become temporary quarters for those waiting for an apartment to become available. I liked staying in the maid’s quarters because they were huge. There were 10 rooms with a long hallway to play in. Read the rest of this entry »


BUILDINGS IN SEARCH OF A HOME – AN APPEAL FROM THE MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN MILITARY FAMILY

Seven small houses sit in a construction lot ready to be moved onto their permanent location.

Seven small houses sit in a construction lot ready to be moved onto their permanent location.

Dr. Circe Olson Woessner, Executive Director of the Museum of the American Military Family, has expressed deep appreciation to the Robert Rivera Construction Company for a generous gift of seven 1940s-era military housing units for use as the Museum’s permanent home. Dr. Woessner and her volunteer Board of Directors have been looking for a suitable site for the units and seem to have found one with help from city officials. “Just think,” she said,” we are on the brink of creating the first museum of its kind in the United States. We have the opportunity to bring thousands of people to Albuquerque to pay their respects to the unsung heroes who have stood behind our men and women in uniform.”

“However,” Woessner says, “we need to move those buildings and rehab them. We need to make sure they are up to code and are suitable for the programs we will use them for.”

The units will be assembled to resemble a housing area on a military installation and each of the houses will be dedicated to specific uses – such as housing permanent and revolving exhibits, classroom and seminar areas, a recording studio, administrative areas, and a library to include the collections of the American Overseas Schools Historical Society. “We also hope to put an adaptive playground in the complex,” Woessner said.

“What we need now are guardian angels,” she said. “We need corporations, companies, and individuals to help us generate funds to cover the movement and installation costs. We are launching a membership campaign, but it’s going to take a great many people and resources to bring this Museum to life.”

Anyone interested in supporting this initiative should make contact with Dr. Woessner at militaryfamilymuseum@comcast.net or at MAMF ,P.O. Box 5085, Albuquerque, NM 87185. She can be reached by phone at (505) 504-6830.