Friday, November 16, 2012

Introducing the Museum of the American Military Family

Here is a guest post from Circe Olson Woessner, executive director of the Museum of the American Military Family:

The Museum of the American Military Family came into being one winter night as I sat watching the news, thinking about my Army son deployed overseas. I tried to imagine being in his circumstances, and ended up scaring myself more than anything else.

Like so many military moms, I hoped my son would serve his country proudly, carry out the mission successfully and come home safe, sound, in one piece —- and soon.

It occurred to me, at that instant, other military moms were having the same thoughts as I. In fact, millions of other military mothers, military spouses and children, regardless of nationality, or where they were located on the globe, were having similar wishes and hopes for their loved ones.

And I thought: we military families are tough. We hold it together for the sake of our kids, for our spouses, for our parents -- and for ourselves!

If we fall apart, it affects our troops and, indirectly, the mission. So when the chips are down, we grit our teeth, brace ourselves and keep on going. Ever since there have been armies, there have been families supporting them -- and supporting each other.

That’s when I got the idea: someone should dedicate a museum to the military family!

And then the second thought: Maybe I should dedicate a museum to the military family.

And so the Museum of the American Military Family was born.

Our mission is this:

The Museum of the American Military Family and Learning Center brings together people with shared experiences showcasing and honoring those who also served -- America's military families.

Right now the museum is in its infancy. We incorporated in March 2011, formed a board of directors, created our mission and vision statements, wrote bylaws and business plan, and got our 501 c 3 status.

In April 2011 we launched the virtual museum, and in May 2011 we created our Facebook Page.

Since then we have joined Twitter, Tindeck, Pinterest, and other social media. We have partnered with the National Museum of Nuclear History and Science to do a variety of programs, leading up to a major exhibition in 2014.

We are marching forward toward our goal of having a physical museum space in the Albuquerque area by 2013.

How can you help?

Because currently we are a virtual museum, all of our collections are online at

To keep the museum site dynamic, we need to add posts continuously to our Facebook Page, our photo galleries and our blogs. We have many blogs, including We Served Too, Passports and Pedagogy, and the American Military Family.

We’d like you to send your photos and memories to us and we’d like your digital media: photos, videos, audio recordings as well as your written memories.

If you’ve made a YouTube video or have been interviewed for topics relevant to this museum, please let us know. If we feel that they are appropriate, we’ll post them. (Please make sure you have clear rights/or the permission to distribute the media.)

Submissions can be sent to

Please visit our Facebook Page at:

Sign our guest book at:

And, most of all -- spread the word!

Some people ask if they can give us uniforms or other memorabilia, and the answer is “yes — soon.” We are in the process of locating physical museum space. But until we have funding and support, we cannot move into a permanent location.

Please hold on to your treasures for a little longer. We have posted a donation form on our website to help us raise money for our building.

We have designed a modest building, which looks like a military housing unit, and we are considering purchasing a small building near Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque. Either building will cost less than $300,000 to obtain.)

Please join us on our journey -— one that spans 200+ years -— from the Revolutionary War into the future. Help us tell the story of the American Military Family!

Blog note: My guest post "The Impact on My Life of Being Stationed in Germany From 1970 to 1972" for one of the museum's blogs can be read at


Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of the novel MRS. LIEUTENANT and the co-author of the eBook technothriller LT. COMMANDER MOLLIE SANDERS. Phyllis is the co-founder of the marketing consulting company Miller Mosaic LLC, which works with clients to attract more business. Read her posts at the company's social media marketing blog.

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