New Mexico Welcomes a new Department of Veterans Service Secretary


Christmas 1944

Diane Berry

Our Dad would have celebrated his 101 birthday yesterday if he were alive. I had a memory on my heart all day and decided to share.

It was December 1944. Dad was getting ready to go overseas during WWII . He and a large number of fellow military personnel were on a train in New Jersey when the train was held up due to a snow storm. The date was December 22, a few days before Christmas. Since everybody had a little cash on hand, the guys began to play poker to pass the slow moving time! Our Dad did rather well winning $1800.00. that was quite a lot of money in those days…our Dad was only making about $40.00 a month at the time.

He wired about $400.00. back home to save until after the war.

But he took the rest, about $1,400, went into town and bought items to make Christmas bags for EVERY guy on the train. Imagine the impact – guys going to war, not knowing whether they were going to return home, Christmas time, away from family and there was a Christmas surprise for them on Christmas morning.

(I never heard my Dad tell that story…the pastor shared it at his funeral). So very thankful I was raised by a kind and humble man! Merry Christmas everyone. I pray that your Christmas has an unexpected blessing,

 

 


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

 

 


PRIDE! LGBTQ+ Military Family Social

For Immediate Release:

PRIDE! LGBTQ+ Military Family Social

The Shared Voices of LGBTQ+ Military, Veterans, Spouses, Brats and Allies.

Richmond, Petersburg, Hopewell, Tri-city area LGBTQ+ Military and military affiliated organizations have joined together to offer the first ever LGBTQ+ Military Family Pride Social on Saturday, September 1, from 7-9 pm. Come out for an evening of socializing, entertainment, speakers and an “open mic”, at Rajun Cajun Seafood, Petersburg, VA.

Multiple organizations including the Museum of the American Military Family Museum, Military Kid Art Project, Trans Veteran Society of Virginia, TheatreLAB, and the Petersburg Pride Committee are coordinating the event, which will be held at DJ’s Rajun Cajun Seafood in Petersburg, a gay owned establishment and the hub of Petersburg Pride.

The first ever Pride! LGBTQ+ Military Family Social, created in conjunction with the two cities celebrating Pride this year, will have entertainment, food, drinks, music, skits, laughs, readings, and personal stories all in honor of the LGBTQ+ Military Family life. “Military Family” from all branches of the military, retired LGBTQ+ Military, current service members, spouses and all dependents, Brats, no matter the age and the allies that support them.

There will be an open-mic and all are encouraged to share LGBTQ+ military family related stories. The stories will be held to a 2-minute maximum of time and must be PG rated. Lora Beldon, founder of Military Kids Art Project and Artist-in-Residence of the Museum of the American Military Family says, “You don’t have to share a story to come and enjoy the evening. The Military Family Museum just released its anthology of LGBTQ+ Military Family in SHOUT! Sharing Our Truth. As a military Brat, I was honored to have contributed a story and artwork, as well as co-edited the anthology. The book will be available for purchase at the event and both Richmond and Petersburg Pride. The publication, along with an accompanying exhibit recently was honored by the American Association of State and Local History’s Albert B. Corey Prize.

Veteran Yessica Gonzalez-Hernandez, a Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) Victim Advocate, and a Petersburg Pride committee member says, “This event is incredibly important! It will be an opportunity to promote inclusion and celebrate the service of LGBTQ+ Service Members and their families.”

To pre-sign up to share a story email Lora Beldon at LKBeldon@hotmail.com, or sign up the night of the event. Space is limited. First come first serve. Also visit the Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1058871680928195/

The PRIDE! LGBTQ+ Military Family Social Event is open to the public Saturday, September 1, 7-9pm. Location, DJ’s Rajun Cajun Seafood Restaurant. 309 North Sycamore Street, Old Towne Petersburg, Virginia, 23803. http://www.djsrajuncajun.com

804-704-8940


We’d love to add your family photos to our military family album!


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 »


New Exhibit & Anthology to Debut in September 2017