Posted: January 8, 2018 Filed under: Brat Life, Events, Healing, History, Memories, Organizations, Service, The Host Nation | Tags: boy scouts, museum of the american military family, WWII
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.
Posted: June 16, 2017 Filed under: Appreciation, Military Family Museum, Organizations
For more info, click here
Posted: October 7, 2015 Filed under: Organizations, Service, Veterans
Archive of Modern American Warfare (AMAW) at Texas Tech University in Lubbock collects and preserves records that document America’s involvement in military actions after 1975, such as Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Operations Provide Relief and Restore Hope, the Kosovo War, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. The Archive encompasses issues regarding national security, military and government intelligence, homeland defense, the development of new military technologies, diplomacy, and the personal experiences of American servicemen and women.
The AMAW is seeking donations from military veterans. The Archive is particularly interested in collecting digital material such as emails, blogs and other personal websites, text and instant messages, word processing documents, oral histories, digital photographs, digital videos, and digital audio recordings. These materials are of vital importance because digital materials are more susceptible to deterioration over time than are paper records, yet both are equally valuable for the historical information they contain. The Archive also collects traditional archival material, such as correspondence and artifacts.
For more information, please see the AMAW brochure
Posted: September 13, 2015 Filed under: Appreciation, History, Memories, Military Family Museum, Organizations, Overseas Life, The Host Nation, Veterans, War and Peace | Tags: 3/11 ACR; OP INDIA; Bad Hersfeld, Cold War, Luederbach
by Circe Olson Woessner
In 2014, a man named Reiner contacted me after I posted a memory piece and some photos about the 3/11 ACR families stationed in Bad Hersfeld, West Germany right before the fall of the Iron Curtain. He asked if he could reuse some of the blog photos because he was working on a special project in his home town in Germany. I immediately sent him several, and just recently, I e-mailed him a couple more.
I really liked this one, and wanted to share it:
In September, 2015, Reiner he replied, saying,
“Thank you so much for the two photos. My small collection of pictures and information about OP-India and the region until its closure in 1990, has progressed very well. We have checked the tower in the meantime, and our municipality wants to ensure the restoration. In the observation room, we are… a large number of many images exhibit to document the life here during the Cold War.
So should you have more pictures, please send them to me via email.
Thanks again for your trouble.
Greetings from Lüderbach in central Germany
Because I, too, am in the process of creating a museum (the Museum of the American Military Family) I asked him if he had any photos from OP India showing the renovation progress–
“Thank you for your e-mail. In the appendix you can find 2 pictures of the clean up this March. It was not a nice weather, it snowed lightly. We have cleaned up the former observation room. Everything from the walls, floor and ceiling. Thus, only the pure concrete is still left. By the way, the man with the broom in brown overalls, that’s me. Today we have had a meeting to coordinate further action. We have to open the target of the tower and the trail involved next year. I will continue to take pictures and send them to you.
Greetings from the beautiful Lüderbach
As the renovations continue, I will continue to post updates—and show photos.
Here are the links to the Lüderbach website and Facebook page.
If anyone has photos of OP INDIA and would like to help Reiner with this project, please email them to:
Posted: August 30, 2015 Filed under: Healing, Organizations, Service
This article was written by Air Force Brat Jan Wertz for the Sheltie Pacesetter. It tells how her dog, Penny, became a Therapy Dog and what she does.
Jan Wertz’ father and Penny
Penny knows what Tuesday means for her. When I put the blue and yellow bandanna on my little sable Sheltie girl, she knows she is about to work as a Therapy Dog at a local elder care residence facility. A few minutes later, she is at work visiting and making the elderly residents smile. Our first stop is in the small, very tidy, apartment of a lady who is 101 years old. The woman’s hands are gnarled by arthritis, but she gently strokes Penny’s ears and around her face. And the tired look of resignation is replaced with a soft smile of happiness. Penny regards the petting as her due; a retired show winner she knows she is royalty. Her dark brown eyes regard the elderly lady with calm acceptance. A moment later, she tells us stories of her family and her own dogs from times past. She is no longer an elderly resident who has outlived her friends and many of her family, but in memory she relives happier times and is content. The look on Penny’s face says she understands every word. This is one of the things a Therapy Dog does. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: July 1, 2015 Filed under: Events, History, Military Family Museum, Organizations, Overseas Life, Schooling with Uncle Sam
June 23, 2015
For Immediate Release
Dr. Allen Dale Olson
|“Schooling with Uncle Sam” Opens at Special Collections Library on July 11
Exhibit Tells the Story of Schools and Students on Military Bases Across the World
ALBUQUERQUE, NM – ABC Library‘s Special Collections Library is the venue for an upcoming exhibition, “Schooling with Uncle Sam,” focused on the history of the 181 schools for military dependents located in the U.S. and throughout the world. Less than one-third (58) of one of America’s largest school systems is located in the States; the rest are spread around the world, from the Far and Middle East to Western Europe.
The exhibit, developed by the Museum of the American Military Family and Learning Center, will open on Saturday, July 11 in the Main Reading Room at the Special Collections Library at Edith and Central.
The public is invited to attend an special ceremony with a ribbon-cutting, honor guard, remarks and light refreshments on Thursday, July 16 at 5 p.m.
The massive educational system has its origins in military sponsorship of the education of the sons and daughters of the armed forces that began in the mid-19th century. Today’s sprawling system came out of post WWII when it was determined that morale would increase among Occupation soldiers if their families were with them, and that the living examples of American democracy would be influential in the defeated German and Japanese populations. Another factor in new policy was the concern over stationing the now racially integrated military in the still-segregated South.
Since 1946, when the Department of Defense opened schools for military dependents in Germany and Japan, an estimated 15 million American students have received their education/ on military installations in foreign lands. The average Department of Defense Education Agency (DODEA) student will attend four, five or even more different schools on the/ way to graduation. More than a quarter of them will enter first grade speaking a foreign language, and almost all of them will have lived in a foreign country by the time they reach the fourth grade.
With Albuquerque’s large population of active and retired military and veterans, the new exhibit will bring back memories for many area residents who themselves attended DODEA schools, or had children who attended them. The new exhibit will feature 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 highschool; 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.
Details about one military kid stationed in Germany who decided that if the University of Maryland could offer evening classes for soldiers, they could do it for military “Brats”, too (an affectionate appellation chosen by the “Brats” themselves). Claire Schwan, daughter of Colonel William A. Schwan, convinced Major General Thorson that it was needed, and soon there was a two-year undergraduate program with 18 students! During its 55-year existence, the two-year European campus of the University of Maryland served more than 22,000 student as the only residential college for children of U.S. military and State Department personnel.
Circle your calendars and don’t miss this engaging exhibit that will provide a lot of information on the lives of military dependents, a number of smiles, and will add to our knowledge about a life few of us have experienced. The constant moves and changes of school, teachers, friends and cultures-all without their express consent-makes for a very challenging, but rewarding life. The stories of how these students adapted and thrived should be an inspiration to us all.
The exhibit is presented by The Museum of the American Military Family and Learning Center (MAMF), whose mission it is to collect and preserve 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.
|Curators for “Schooling with Uncle Sam” are:
Dr. Circe Olson Woessner, ND, MAMF Executive Director, is DoD Brat, an Army wife of twenty years and mother to an active duty soldier. She taught in the overseas Department of Defense Schools in Europe and the Caribbean and currently works for the federal government. In 2002, she compiled the stories of over 150 University of Maryland, Munich, Germany alumni, resulting in two books documenting the history of that campus’ 40-year history. She has been recognized for her unique education programs in the US and abroad and has been published in Eddiciones Santillana’s Strategies for Teaching English in Puerto Rico. She has been featured in the Army Times and has been quoted in scholarly books about growing up on military bases overseas. Due to her father’s permanent stationing in Europe, she had the unusual experience of attending the same overseas DODEA school throughout her primary and secondary education. Circe belongs to the Blue Star Mothers and co-edits the American Overseas Schools Historical Society (AOSHS) Quarterly newsletter.
Dr. Allen Dale “Ole” Olson, Public Affairs for MAMF, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Physical Education, a Master’s Degree in Secondary Education, and a doctorate in General Administration from the George Washington University. Ole is a World War II-era veteran and spent most of his civilian career with the United States Defense Department assigned to the Headquarters of the U.S. Army in Europe, where he served as the Army Liaison to the DoD Dependents Schools. He also spent twelve years as an Executive Officer for the DoD schools in Europe. Following his retirement, Dr. Olson served as Dean of the Graduate School of Schiller International University and as the Executive Director of the Southern Indiana Center for the Arts. Ole co-edits the AOSHS Quarterly newsletter, and is the President of the Museum Collaborative Council of Albuquerque.
The exhibit 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.
The Special Collections Library of the ABC Library houses research collections on Albuquerque history and New Mexico history and culture. The 1925 Pueblo/Spanish Revival-style building is a registered Albuquerque landmark in the historic Huning Highlands neighborhood. As a research library, materials are available for in-house use only.
ABC Library is part of the Cultural Services Department, City of Albuquerque, Richard J. Berry, Mayor. ABC Library consists of 17 locations serving a diverse population with a variety of programs, events and services. In 2014, the library welcomed more than 2 million patrons and managed the circulation of more than 4 million materials. For more information on all of the library events and services, call 311 or visit www.abclibrary.org
Established in 1969, the Friends for the Public Library is a nonprofit, 501(c)3 organization supporting the Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Library System. For more information, please visit http://www.friendsforthelibrary.org/
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