For Immediate Release…Museum of the American Military Family locates at Bataan Military Academy…

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – September 9, 2015 | Author: americanmilitaryfamilymuseum | Filed under: Brats, Events, Museum News, Museum of the American Military Family, News, The Board of Directors | Leave a comment logo copyFor Additional Information Dr. Allen Dale Olson (505) 400-3849

Museum of the American Military Family & Learning Center  Click on this link for more…



Groups Call Move a “Good Fit”

Albuquerque, NM – An Albuquerque charter school has just joined forces with the only museum in the country dedicated to the collection and preservation of the stories, documents, and artifacts of America’s military families. Both the Bataan Military Academy Charter School (BMA) and the Museum of the American Military Family (MAMF) have moved into 5555 McLeod Boulevard NE, Albuquerque.

BMA serves grades nine through twelve, meets U.S. Navy standards in curriculum and in Naval sciences, including standards in physical fitness and in honoring traditional Naval standards. The school is in partnership with parents, teachers, military organizations, and with the military services. Principal, “Captain” Jan Zink, works closely with the Academy’s Board of Governors, chaired by Dr. Alan Holmquist.

BMA students are cadets grouped as in a military organization and follow the rank structure of the Navy Junior Reserve Officer Corps (NJROTC). In addition to traditional high school activities and sports, BMA cadets also form color guards, drill teams, and rifle teams. The school is named for the 70,000 soldiers and sailors forced to surrender on Luzon in 1942, some 70,000 of whom died during the infamous “Bataan Death March.” Many of those who died were from New Mexico. Annually BMA cadets simulate that march in a 26-mile hike at White Sands Proving Grounds.

MAMF, founded four years ago by Dr. Circe Olson Woessner, a DoD “Brat,” an Army wife and an Army mother, has been active throughout Albuquerque– even without a facility– by presenting documentary film programs, stage performances, military ceremonies and major exhibits in various venues, including the National Nuclear Museum, the South Broadway Cultural Center, the International Balloon Museum, and the Wheels Museum.

MAMF’s volunteer Board of Directors includes an Artist-in-Residence, a Writer-in Residence, and liaison chairs to military spouses, military organizations, “Brats” and Veterans’ organizations. Its programs reach throughout the country through its Operation Footlocker, mobile exhibits which go to public schools, nursing homes, USO events, and to reunions of former students of Defense Department schools. MAMF is a 501 c 3 not for profit.

MAMF has a partnership with the American Overseas Schools Historical Society which represents thousands of former teachers and administrators in the Defense Department world-wide school system and with “Overseas Brats,” representing thousands of adult military “Brats.”

Till this semester, BMA had been on Mountain Road in Albuquerque, and MAMF existed as an on-line presence. In the McLeod facility, MAMF occupies the second floor; BMA the ground floor. Both Captain Zink and Executive Director Woessner believe the shared home makes a “good fit” for the school and the museum. They agree that the MAMF library, archives, exhibits, and historical folios of military family life are valuable resources for the cadets, who in turn, provide ceremonial support for MAMF programs.

The Museum is open by appointment only.

Tel: 505-504-3860


For additional information, visit: and/or


by Steve Sparks, Author, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story and My Journey of Healing in Life after Trauma, Part 1 & 2… Click highlighted text for my author page…

Steve Sparks, Advisory Board Member, Museum of the American Military Family

Museum of the American Military Family, Albuquerque, New Mexico…Steve & Judy Sparks interview podcast during the “Sacrifice and Service” exhibit on May 31, 2014…

Museum of the American Military Family, “Sacrifice and Service” Exhibit… Click image for larger view…

“Together We Served”…Steve & Judy Sparks interview with Circe Woessner, Executive Director, Museum of the American Military Family, Albuquerque, New Mexico…click highlighted text for podcast…

Images of Museum of the American Military Family…click highlighted text…

Included in the above “images” link is an image of a post card from my father, Vernon, sent home to St. Paul in 1936 when serving on his first ship, the USS Tennessee… click the highlighted text…  Dad was age 17 when he joined the US Navy in 1936.  He retired in 1958 following 22 years of service, including WWII and Korean War…


Dad’s post card sent home in 1936. Click image for larger view…
Front of post card photo of USS Tennessee 1936… Click image for larger view…

Museum of the American Military Family Quote from this website…click highlighted text…

“The Museum of the American Military Family and Learning Center brings together people with shared experiences showcasing and honoring those who also served—American’s Military Families. The Museum is gathering artifacts and recollections from American military families who served through war and peace in past decades and those who serve today in anticipation of the creation of a permanent facility in Albuquerque that will celebrate their lives and sacrifices for generations to come. For more information, please visit For more information on the exhibition, visit…”


Judy and I were very honored to participate recently during the opening ceremony of the Museum of the American Military Family, “Sacrifice and Service” exhibit in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  The interview podcast was recorded just before the start of my book reading for Reconciliation: A Son’s Story.  Judy and I were asked to talk briefly about intergenerational PTSD, often a lifetime challenge for the children and families of warriors.  The interview was a conversation about my experience as a military child of a father who served in hard combat, and my family’s journey of healing in life after trauma.

Steve Sparks, Author, Reconciliation, A Son’s Story

Book cover photos include my father, Vernon, and mother, Marcella c1940…and the USS West Virginia bombed in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941… Dad was aboard ship on that Sunday morning long ago…and survived. Click image for larger view…

What are the true costs of war to the children and families of veterans?

Please support my mission of helping families who suffer from PTSD and moral injury…order my books, My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma, Part 1… (Kindle $2.99), and Reconciliation: A Son’s Story.  Click and order paperback or download Kindle version.  Buy my book at Barnes & Noble as well… Thank you! Steve Sparks, Author spouse-daughterWith her husband away at war, Liz Snell has been a single mother for much of her marriage. Her youngest daughter Briannah is 10 now, and the family is together at Camp Pendleton.

The unreported cost of war…the children and families…  click on the powerful and revealing article and video clip…quote from this website article…  From CNN, “The Uncounted”

“Every day, 22 veterans commit suicide. That number is sadly familiar. It has become a symbol of the cost of war that extends beyond the battlefield.

But no one is tracking war’s impact on another group: military spouses, siblings and parents.”

My mother, Marcella, is turning 96 years young in September of 2014…  She lives comfortably in an assisted living home in Reno, Nevada surrounded by loving care givers.  Judy and I are planning our next visit with Mom later in May while traveling to Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Mother is a surviving WWII and Korean War spouse and mother who served too!

I recall vividly the many times mother would say, “I wish I never lived!”  At best she contemplated suicide or wishes of not living.  I don’t know if she ever tried to carry out the act.  I do know Mom was and still is suffering from the symptoms of PTSD after all these years.  She was a single mother with first born son, Jerry, for all of WWII.  Dad was in Pearl Harbor aboard the USS West Virginia during the surprise Japanese attack on the US Navy Pacific Fleet on December 7, 1941.  My brother, Jerry, was born three months before Pearl Harbor.  Dad finally came home in June of 1945, the beginning of the war at home that never ended.  He was later deployed during the Korean War for almost 1 year.

I write in my book about our family’s struggle in life after war during all the years of my own childhood, and as an adult affected by growing up with a WWII hero severely affected by the symptoms of PTSD.   I believe my mother was damaged beyond repair.  I also believe we children could not avoid being affected by the toxic and sometimes violent nature of home life during the 1950’s and early 1960’s.  It was a time in our lives we all wanted to forget.  All we ever thought about was growing up and getting away from the scary dysfunctional behavior and never returning home again.

As reported in the referenced article by CNN, America has often turned its head away from the children and families who paid a big price as the sole caregivers and descendants of veterans from all wars.  In this report and video clip we see the heart wrenching interviews of military family members who tell us more about the challenges of military life and the lingering effects of war on children and families.  The wars and the horrific memories of combat never ended for combat veterans when they returned home.  It has always been very difficult and sometimes hopeless for veterans to eventually readjust to civilian life and find a happy place at home again.  It is also true that loved ones and family members suffered terribly during the long deployments of the men and women deployed during all wars.  I can say from my own experience as a post WWII military child that the war did not end once Dad returned home.  It was just getting started…

Steve Sparks, Author, My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma, Part 1 (Kindle $2.99) and Reconciliation: A Son’s Story…please go to my author page to order…