Military families have front seats to history

Circe Olson Woessner

Recently on Facebook, a friend mentioned the difficulties of talking about her military childhood because people think she’s bragging when she speaks about having lived overseas. She admits, “I rarely bring it up any more.”

As the Director of the Museum of the American Military Family, I tell people that in order to understand history, one needs to see it from all perspectives. Military families have often been present during historic events, but much of the time, their experiences are not widely shared.

My husband was overseas conducting multinational exercises on September 11, 2001. I was driving to work listening to the radio when the news of the attacks came over the airways. I remember initially thinking it was a remake of that old radio show, “War of the Worlds.” As it sunk in that it was real, I realized I’d better pick up my kids from their off-base schools, as the base we lived on would go on lock-down. Our lives were about to change. Read the rest of this entry »


October 28, 1961 Benjamin Franklin Village Bulletin

village-bulletin-1 village-bulletin


The Museum of the American Military Family is compiling stories for a book reflecting on war…

 

Attention New Mexicans, who are serving in the military, are military veterans, are members of a military family, and would like to write about your experience in that capacity…

 Paul Zolbrod, Writer-in-Residence for the Albuquerque-based Museum of the American Military Family is seeking stories for its anthology “From the Front Line to the Home Front: New Mexicans Reflect on War.”

This anthology will include first-hand stories from all perspectives—service members, family members and friends who share their perspectives and experiences. Submissions can be about the recent Middle East campaigns, Vietnam, the Korean War era or World War II—and everything in between. All branches and ranks of the military should be represented.

How you can contribute:

Your story can be as long or as short as you choose. Just make it heartfelt, honest and interesting. We are looking for stories of trial and triumph and loss, stories that demonstrate the warmth and humor of military family life along with its inevitable tensions, offbeat stories that illustrate the variety that accompanies military life in war times–in other words– anything you want to tell of.

You don’t have to consider yourself an accomplished writer to participate. We will provide editorial services to sharpen your contribution.

The book will be arranged by stories of:

  • Pre-deployment,
  • Deployment
  • Post-deployment
  • Legacy & Aftermath

For more information or to submit a story, please e-mail Writer-in-Residence Paul Zolbrod at mamfwriter@gmail.com.

The deadline for submissions is April 30, 2016. Tentative publication date is scheduled for the fall. All stories become part of the Museum of the American Military Family Special Collection Library.

 

 


A Military Brat (a poem by Hudson Phillips):


Born in a Hawaiian paradise,

I expected it,

accepted it,

and carried it with me

on large ocean ships

that rolled and delved and climbed

but always went forward

through, and over,

ever

dependent on the Captain

on deck,

lulled by the vibration

from the ship’s motor

within,

curious about the surface

we sailed upon,

I tasted the ocean,

as it

let  me taste

lifting itself

in mountainous swells,

teasing and then pulling back,

then flinging itself in the air

with such joy.

Fish would sometimes follow,

flying over the bow and swimming along side.

Sometimes I would drop an orange

to mark my spot,

but always we moved beyond,

leaving a wake of churned water

and cream bubbles

as we sailed toward our next port of call.

 

 

 


Breakfast Burgers

by Misty Corrales

When my father was stationed at RAF Greenham Common in England, we were fortunate to be able to attend the International Air Tattoo (IAT) several times. Two of the years we were there, the IAT was hosted at RAF Greenham Common. Our last year there, it was hosted at RAF Fairfield (and there is a story behind that). This was a great opportunity for the squadrons to raise money, and rather than outsourcing the food to different vendors, the base allowed the squadrons to provide the dining options. My dad’s squadron usually did hamburgers. The way this worked was that a morning crew would come in and start grilling the burgers, so that by lunch time, they were ready to start service.

My dad signed up for the early crew so that we’d have the rest of the day to enjoy the air show. Mom and I also were there to help. What my father’s squadron did not count on was me. I figured that we were there and we were supposed to be selling. But how DO you sell hamburgers at 9 in the morning? It’s simple really. This was a time when the base was opened up to the public. There were several British people on base, as well as a few people from other countries as well. This was 1983. They were not *quite* as familiar with our food then as they are now. I came up with a jingle to sell Breakfast Burgers. We were the ONLY unit offering a breakfast option! And people were hungry. We sold out. When the lunch shift came on, they were surprised to find that there were no burgers ready for service.


What’s Become of OP INDIA?

by Circe Olson Woessner

-5

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:

trabbi

 

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–

He replied,

 “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.

www.luederbach.de

www.facebook.com/Luederbach

If anyone has photos of OP INDIA and would like to help Reiner with this project, please email them to:

luederbach-info@t-online.de

 

 

 

 

 


The most spontaneous day of my youth

The first long weekend of my senior year at London Central, our school offered a field trip to Dover…. as in the famous “white cliffs of Dover.” It was an amazing weekend. We went to a flight museum; we saw Stonehenge; we visited a safari type zoo; we stayed at a hostel. Actually, aside from the flight museum, I had not done ANY of the items we did that weekend. I’d lived in England for over two years and not made it to one of its most famous landmarks – Stonehenge. This was back when you could still walk among the stones — on a specific path, of course, but we could still get close.

However, what I remember most of that amazing trip was the time we spent at the channel.

The White Cliffs of Dover face the English Channel. And while I had crossed that channel many times since moving to England, visiting France and Holland, those expeditions had always been on the big ferries or hover crafts. When we got down to that little sea side area, there was a place where we could rent a rowboat. My friends and I did just that. There were four of us that day who rowed out in the boat, heading towards the buoy that signaled one mile. We wanted to get out to that buoy. Read the rest of this entry »