Mr. America

Born in 1958 Roy Aletti should definitely be called ‘Mr. America’. Owner of a paint supply store and many amazing, tangible pieces of American history, Mr. Aletti displays the characteristics of a small-town man. With a constant smile; he’ll call you by name and ask about your family.

Roy takes personal pride in honoring Americans who have served in the military. His front yard decorations change with the seasons, and always a reminder of the American soldier is present.

This year, 2018, Mr. Aletti commissioned a statue of the WWI Doughboy to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice effectively ending military operations and hostilities of WWI.

Roy Aletti is constantly busy with parade invitations and gladly displays his American pride in many of those invitations. Roy considers himself “the biggest kid on the block.” His warmth and laughter are real. His love for the USA is pretty infectious.

His family arrived in the US 108 years ago and surely ingrained a love for our country. Happy to say that Patriotism shines a bit brighter in the Town/Village of Harrison, NY because of his Love for America!

Thank you, Roy Aletti, for your support of the American military.



Respectfully submitted

Elisabeth FD Sacco



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

Molly Pitcher

My Ft. Bliss POC phoned one morning in early December 2011, inviting me to their early January St. Barbara’s Day Ball.  I explained I was committed to a function at Holloman Air Force Base that evening.  He called back the following week, and said I really would like you to come to this ball.  Again, I explained that I could not disappoint the Holloman AFB Officers Wives whose fund raising event was that evening.

He called back the next week and in a very no-nonsense voice said, “Millie, you must come to the St. Barbara’s Day Ball.  I finally gave in, told him that I would wear my new black pantsuit.  He quickly said, “Oh no, you must wear a long dress.” So, I drive to Albuquerque and paid $350. for a long dress — on sale.  The evening of the event, my Command Sergeant Major friend picked me at the hotel on the base.  My husband, Marvin, stayed in the hotel room, watching a football game.

CSM James Ross turns around from the front passenger seat, he had a driver, and said “Now Millie, here is what’s going to happen tonight—you are the Guest of Honor”.  High-ranking officers were there from bases all across the USA and some from out of the country.  The room holds 600, and it was packed.  I was seated at the head table, next to General Dana Pittard, Ft. Bliss Commander, with a vacant chair next to me.  After some preliminary programming, I was called to the stage where a visiting General Officer placed a red ribbon that held a large gold medallion around my neck, explained the significance of the Molly Pitcher Award (very little of it which I recall), and handed me a framed certificate that proclaimed me to be a woman who had earned this coveted honor.

I had never heard of Molly Pitcher and did not know the history of this award until I got home and googled Molly Pitcher.  To this day, I’m not sure I’ve shown the appropriate gratitude for having been honored with such an esteemed award.

by Millie Woods


The El Paso (TX) Veteran’s Day Parade



Millie Woods

I was honored to have been invited to ride on the 82nd Airborne’s float in the El Paso Veterans Day Parade today, with WWII veterans and one Viet Nam veteran.  I met a lot of patriotic Americans today.  The spectators, several thousand, were very respectful, waving, saluting, and shouting “Thank you for your service”.


The first photo is a church group.  The gent with the blackened face and the Captain in the back center are the group leaders, teaching these young men discipline, skills, etc., but they made it clear that their main thrust is spiritual.  What a dynamite combination.  I was particularly impressed with the young mens eye contact, acknowledgment, and recognition of most every adult whose path they crossed, stopping to shake hands with many.  They are being given the right kind of training in preparation for becoming the American leaders of the future.  Another group wore patches that read “Young Marines”.  There was also a group of young men and women wearing Navy and Air Force uniforms, every one well behaved, a tribute to the uniform they were wearing.  I have to tell you that I was very impressed with the involvement of young people, all marching in cadence like they had done it all their lives.   It was a GREAT Veterans Day celebration.



2014 Downtown El Paso – Veterans Day Parade

By John Ceballos ·

 Paratroopers of the Benavidez-Patterson “All Airborne” Chapter, 82nd Airborne Division Association, Inc., were joined by Members of the “Royal Rangers, Outpost 62”: U. S. Congressman, Beto O’Rourke; El Paso County Judge, Veronica Escobar and Former City Representative (District 2), Susie Byrd, for the 2014 Edition of the Downtown El Paso, Texas, Veterans Day Parade! Also on hand: Marvin & Millie Woods from Alto, New Mexico!






The History of MAW* (2007-2012)* Military Appreciation Warriors

by Millie Woods

Having become friends with the Vice Commander of the 49th Fighter Wing at Holloman AFB, Colonel Michael McGee, during the 2007 Christmas Electric Light Parade in Ruidoso, NM, and hearing that plane flying overhead in mid January, I emailed Col. McGee and asked “Michael, how will I know when to go out and wave if you are not going to honk your horn or waggle a wing?” His reply was “Millie, I can do better than that; I can do a rollover over your house.

Neighbors and friends in my church wanting to know when this would happen made me realize that such a feat was far too precious not to be shared with all.

Hence, the founding of Military Appreciation Warriors, a non-profit organization that gives honor and tribute to active duty troops and provides a place for military bases to showcase their equipment and the men and women who use that equipment in the defense of this great Nation.

MAW 2008 and MAW 2009 were sponsored by the United States Air Force , Lead Support bein Holloman Air Force Base and supported by all five military branches. MAW 2010 and MAW 2011 were sponsored by the United States Army, Fort Bliss as Lead Support and supported by all five branches. The United States Coast Guard sent a young coastguardsman from Rockland, Maine to represent that Branch in the presentation of the POW MIA Table.

Every MAW’s annual event ended with an awards banquet that honored POWs, wounded warriors, the oldest troop in attendance and recognized the winners of that year’s theme writing contest, teaching students the need for patriotism and respect for the American military uniform and the American flag.

Every awards banquet also included a POW MIA Table presentation that, without exception, brought tears to most in attendance. The finale of every MAW awards banquet was band’s rendition of Lee Greenwood’s Stand Up America, which put every one on his feet. After every MAW event, the troops retired to their complimentary lodging quarters.

The MAW mission statement and primary goal is to give honor and tribute to active duty troops, to give the hospitality of complimentary lodging, dining, golfing, horseback riding, skiing, etc. as Ruidoso and Greater Lincoln County’s way of expressing gratitude for the sacrifices of the men and women in uniform who, at one time, signed a blank check good for an amount up to and including their limbs and their very life. Read the rest of this entry »

Give Goode, Do Goode

By Allen Dale Olson…This is from his blog at


At a reception last week to open a special exhibit sponsored by the Museum of the American Military Family, I was given two drinks tickets at the entrance. Except for soft drinks and water, the tickets were good only for a generous pour of a white or a red wine. Both, it turned out, were wines good enough to earn further investigation.
They were both from Sonoma-based Murphy-Goode who had donated them for the occasion. One was a 2012 Sauvignon Blanc –”The Fume,” the other a 2011 red wine blend called “Homefront.” The latter was of great interest to the gathering, and the curator of the event, “Sacrifice & Service: The American Military Family,” explained that the wine was created to fulfill the Murphy-Goode belief in “giving back.” Part of the proceeds for each bottle sold goes to Operation Homefront, a winery nonprofit charity that provides financial assistance to the families of military service members and wounded warriors.
Though I have been aware of Murphy-Goode wines almost since the winery was established in the mid 1980s, I had never had opportunities to take a serious look at them. That has changed. The Fume could be a Loire wine, vibrant and rich, fruity and balanced. The red is pure California fruit, no tannic bitterness, long and pleasing finish, a fitting tribute to the Homefront. Both have a civilized alcoholic strength of 13.5%.
I have since learned that Operation Homefront has some 5,000 volunteers in 23 field offices around the country and that since its founding in 2002 it has provided more than $128 million to military families and Veterans in need.
Though the reception is over, the exhibit will be in place through August 31. If you’re traveling through Albuquerque, make a stop at the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History to see “Sacrifice & Service” to learn more about military family life and how foundations like Operation Homefront also serve. At the winery, both wines cost about $15.00. As they say at the winery: “Give Goode. Do Goode.”

One comment on the wine blog read,
Kudos to the Museum of the American Military Family in Albuquerque! We attended the opening and thoroughly enjoyed the exhibits. The awareness shared on the effects of deployment on families and children touched us personally and we thank you for creating such a meaningful exhibit.
Additionally, I enjoyed the “Homefront” red blend served at the reception and agree with your description wholeheartedly. Murphy-Goode’s winery nonprofit charity, Operation Homefront, is a great community partnership focused on Veterans and their families. Murphy Goode did Goode! I’m checking out their website for future wine purchases. 
Judy Sparks
Depoe Bay, Oregon

The Wall That Heals is coming to Santa Fe

TWTH New Flyer 3-5-14

First Press Release About our Upcoming Exhibit in May 2014

Sacrifice & Service

African Americans’ Military Service in World War I

African Americans comprised 13% of active duty manpower during World War I with roughly 200,000 being deployed to Europe. They served with distinction in the American Expeditionary Force and French Army, but their service and contributions are often forgotten. 


When the U.S. declared war on Germany, in April 1917, racial discrimination and segregation policies had been in place in America for 21 years (1896 Plessy v. Ferguson).   Despite those “separate but equal” policies, thousands of loyal African Americans enlisted for U.S. military service.  The Army established four segregated units of African American soldiers during World War I while the Navy’s segregation policy, at the time, accepted very few African Americans.  The Marines accepted none.  A majority of African Americans served in supply or labor battalions, but a few units actually went into battle overseas.

The 369th regiment, known as “the Harlem Hellfighters,” was one of a few African American units that saw action in Europe and they spent more than six months on the front lines—longer than any other American unit during the war.  They never surrendered an inch of Allied territory and not a single soldier was captured.  Many African American soldiers, including Private Henry Johnson and Private Needham Roberts, received the Croix de Guerre from the French government for their service and were hailed as heroes when they returned home.  While African Americans saw limited naval action during World War I, one of them, Edward Donohue Pierson, also earned the French Croix de Guerre for valor when he was wounded aboard the USS Mount Vernon when it was torpedoed off the coast of France.  The 369th, 370th, 371st, 372nd, and the 1st battalion of the 367th regiment—all African American units–received the Croix de Guerre. Read the rest of this entry »

The Brat Story

I’m working on a project to create “awareness” for the service and sacrifices of Military Kids, “Military Brats,” to our nation. Pat Conroy (“The Great Santini,” and a Brat himself) remarked, “…military brats, my lost tribe, spent their entire youth in the service to this country, and no one even knew we were there.” He then goes on to say, “Our greatest tragedy is that we don’t know who we are.” And finally he observes, “We’d never stopped to honor ourselves, out loud, for our understanding service to America.”

These three observations are essentially my inspiration and motivation for the “BratPin” – a way to finally recognize and honor these kids. I tried for almost 4 years to have the Congress recognize Military Brats to no avail. (Ref: HR 5333: Children of Military Service Members Commemorative Lapel Pin Act, HRs 1014 and 1889 (same title)). Then last summer I decided to “go it alone.”

Since introducing the “BratPin” concept in October 2013, I have sold over $16,000 in BratPin products. The only marketing I have done is through Facebook.


Typical of the feedback I have is received is this note from last December.

“Thank you so much for designing these. I am an Army Brat and proud to be one. I miss the life and yes would do it again in a heartbeat. I bought 3 of the pendants on chains. One for my sister, brother and myself. I wish they were alive to see them. They would have been so proud. I will wear mine with pride and place theirs on their graves. I think I will have found the closure I was searching for. Again, I thank you.”

I invite you to have a look at all the comments on my web site to gain an even greater appreciation for this initiative. They are so heartwarming…

So, I am writing today to garner interest in telling “our” story – the story of the “Military Brat.” In my generation (I am 67) we moved all over the World. I myself moved 13 times over 14 years as an Air Force Brat. I attended 16 schools during that period; 4 high schools, in 3 countries. I am not “unique.” And I also, would do it again, in a heartbeat!

But for all I experienced, I think growing up as a Brat damaged me. (More on this later, if you are interested). And while the Brats of today aren’t subjected to the moves as we were, I think they will be facing “issues” later in life from the multiple deployments of their parents.

Take a look at these kids on TV today – at unit deployments and returns, and on occasion, at military funerals. Look at their faces – the ‘fear,’ the ‘uncertainty,’ the ‘insecurity’ and so forth. And yes, the ‘joy’ with the return of their parents.

Our “politicos’ have no hesitation in using us, and our kids, as “props” during their various campaigns, but they can’t seem to find way to recognize these kids – for their service to our country. The BratPin is doing this.

I am thinking “our story,” the story of the American Military Brat, is a great one, just waiting to be told…

Robert (Bob) F. Holliker, Jr. Lt. Col./USAF (Ret)

Proud AF Brat

To learn more about the BratPin click here. The Museum of the Military Family is telling the Brat story as part of its upcoming exhibit Sacrifice & Service: The American Military Family, opening  May 26 2014 at the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History.  We also post your memory pieces on one of our blogs. Please send stories to: We are looking for donations of any amount to rehabilitate seven 1940’s base housing units to be our permanent “home”.