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 »

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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.


Why does Memorial Day hit me so hard?

By Jim Eddy

Memorial Day, it’s always a difficult weekend for me. I sometimes don’t know why really, I wasn’t in the service; I wasn’t a member of the armed forces, so why does it hit me so hard?

I was born into the U.S. Navy in 1952; it’s the only life I knew until I was 25. My dad was a US Naval Academy 1939 graduate and a Pearl Harbor survivor.

Through those 25 years I met WWII survivors, navy pilots, admirals, navy divers, generals, sailors, marines, army personnel, Air Force personnel, Viet Nam vets, Blue Angels, and GI’s who had seen the worst battles ever. I lived in Washington, D.C. and stood solemnly at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier as a young boy. My father took me to the rusty and submerged remains of the USS Arizona prior to the existence of the memorial when I was in the first grade.

To be the son of a U.S. Navy Captain was an experience that is an honor. I visited aircraft carriers, cruisers, destroyers, and battleships. During those visits the members and crew of the ships treated me with dignity and respect, not to mention the ice cream in the mess hall. I will never forget those days I had as a child and teenager.

When my parents had cocktail parties, the visiting Admirals or Generals asked especially to view my ship and airplane models. They were honestly interested in my model building interests. A returning Viet Nam Marine corporal helped me to build my first car. And last, but by no means least, my father was a survivor, a skipper, and my personal navy veteran.

His passing included a 21-gun salute and military funeral. So Memorial Day to me is all of these wonderful memories and the wonderful military personnel I had the pleasure to meet in my younger years. It is so much more than one can ever imagine, military life–it’s a life of its own, and for U.S. military brats we feel it deep, even years after our folks are gone, we still feel that feeling.

Happy Memorial Day to all of the veterans and my fellow and current military BRATS, who willingly went/go where we are told to go and always keep/kept our fear at bay when our mom or dad is/was deployed.


The Wives’ Clubs

Screen Shot 2014-11-29 at 7.17.05 AMIn1948 the NCO and Officer’s clubs offered opportunities to learn and practice military protocol. Meetings such as this one, sought to reduce the pressures of living within the structures of rank and of maintaining poise and a sense of purpose.

 Every spouse is aware that even slight mistakes, such as not cutting one’s lawn, can effect an efficiency report.  These women have made an effort to wear ‘just the right clothes’ and not make social mistakes. The ‘career ladder’ is on everyone’s minds and it effects where they are sent and how they live.

Hudson Phillips


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


An Army Dem or Rep?

By Willy Boroski

Back in the day… no such thing!

I never heard my father say any thing bad about someone’s politics or ideas in the Army – It never came up. Ever!

As we drove around Fort Hood one day (I was 9 yrs old And dad was a Capt.) in his Jeep, I was so proud to be with him ‘cos everyone saluted him on every corner -Dad would point out guys like …That is SGT, CMSGT, Staff SGT, Officer so-and-so Son- etc.

And then I would ask who are the men in the groups marching with just a upside down V on his shoulder?

They are our Troops, son! Let’s pull over and watch.

They marched to Cadence; they sang and I was hooked to the Cadence/marching they were doing!

Son – I was that guy once (a troop) when I was young when I started in the Army.Then I married Mommy and you kids came!

As the soldiers marched by daddy said…They are our Troops son -And they will one day save the world- like we did.

March, march, march… as they passed us by as Daddy pulled to the side of the road-and I said…When you were a young Troop where did you go in the Army Daddy?

I went to training like those troops, Germany where you were born, and then to war in Korea, and twice now in Vietnam. – They say I’m going to go again?

Where Daddy!!!!????

Vietnam!

Oh! Again?

Yes son, Vietnam

It was the last word I remember my father saying in my life.

After 21 years in the US Army he never returned from that trip to Vietnam. 1969

This is where he died and sadly my story dies!

So I am sick and tired (and older) of not telling Daddy’s story!

Politics had nothing to do with his friends in the Army… and it had nothing to do with that patch on the sleeve!

And it had NO POLITICS!

RIP peace Capt Boroski – I wear your love on my sleeve today!


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 »