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 »


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 »


Leaving Panama (1941)

by Hudson PhillipsChristmas 1941_Ft Davis Panama Canal_Ann_Bill_HudsonOur evacuation from the Panama Canal was a terribly sad and sudden thing.  As we approached the time that we were to leave, my father’s demeanor changed to a terse and commanding presence. It was time to be soldiers.  When I think back now, it explains why he acted this way. A barrage balloon hovered over the house, tethered not far away.  Piles of sand were placed near our back door to help extinguish fire from incendiary bombs. The entire family was issued gas masks. I was informed of a stash of emergency items in a compartment in the kitchen (in case my parents were out of the house during an attack.) Read the rest of this entry »


Talking to Santa

We lived on Hickam AFB, 1963-68. At the time, the official word was that Santa did not make pre-Christmas trips to Hawaii. Kids weren’t able to sit on Santa’s lap to tell him what they wanted for Christmas. Instead, we could talk to Santa by shortwave radio. They set up a TEMPER tent where you would sit in front of a microphone, and a very official Santa Claus Communications Specialist would put headphones on you. Your mother would be just around the corner out of sight, providing intel to the person who was talking to you pretending to be Santa. Santa knew my siblings’ names, where I went to school, my teacher’s name, what grade I was in — and he could answer questions that only someone who was truly watching from the North Pole would know the answers to! Talking to Santa on the shortwave radio is one of my fondest memories of being a BRAT at Christmas!

Joyce Ebert Reifsteck