The Museum of the American Military Family is compiling stories for a book reflecting on war…

 

 Attention New Mexicans, who are serving in the military, are military veterans, are members of a military family, and would like to write about your experience in that capacity…

 Paul Zolbrod, Writer-in-Residence for the Albuquerque-based Museum of the American Military Family is seeking stories for its anthology “From the Front Line to the Home Front: New Mexicans Reflect on War.”

This anthology will include first-hand stories from all perspectives—service members, family members and friends who share their perspectives and experiences. Submissions can be about the recent Middle East campaigns, Vietnam, the Korean War era or World War II—and everything in between. All branches and ranks of the military should be represented.

How you can contribute:

Your story can be as long or as short as you choose. Just make it heartfelt, honest and interesting. We are looking for stories of trial and triumph and loss, stories that demonstrate the warmth and humor of military family life along with its inevitable tensions, offbeat stories that illustrate the variety that accompanies military life in war times–in other words– anything you want to tell of.

You don’t have to consider yourself an accomplished writer to participate. We will provide editorial services to sharpen your contribution.

The book will be arranged by stories of:

  • Pre-deployment,
  • Deployment
  • Post-deployment
  • Legacy & Aftermath

For more information or to submit a story, please e-mail Writer-in-Residence Paul Zolbrod at mamfwriter@gmail.com.

The deadline for submissions is April 30, 2016. Tentative publication date is scheduled for the fall. All stories become part of the Museum of the American Military Family Special Collection Library.

 

 


Shaping a Military Brat — War and Evacuation

Hudson “Bill” Phillips
I’m not saying that a military Brat had it harder, or that he or she was more exceptional. I am just saying that they underwent experiences that placed its own stamp upon them. Let me share:

A siren alert had sounded at Fort Davis, in the Canal Zone.  It was only a few weeks after the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor.  Soldiers had placed piles of sand behind our quarters.  When I asked what this was for, my father said it was to smother fire from incendiary bombs.  Every member of our family was issued a gas mask, including the maid.  My father had shown me a hidden cabinet in the kitchen wall, where had had placed a bag with cookies, chocolate bars and oranges.  If I was ever home alone with my brother and sister and we were attacked these treats would be there for us.  One moonless night, it may have been Christmas Eve or close to it,  dad was at his duty station and I was with my mother, brother and sister.  We were under an evening ‘blackout’ when even a lit cigarette could bring the most sever kind of reprimand.  A truck pulled up  in the back with its headlights off. Even its outlines were hard to distinguish. Mom carried a small duffel that had been put aside for emergency. Others were already in the truck, and there would be more as we stopped at other houses. We worked our way slowly around the housing area until we filled the vehicle to capacity. I lost track of our direction even though I thought I knew every inch of the large Post. It was so late at night that several had to be reawakened when we arrived at our destination. Men in hushed voices touched us and led up by the arm into a large bomb shelter which had once been the basement of a barracks. Children cried out… I knew the voices of my friends but I could not see them, Family members were placed on canvas folding cots and we each took our place, still feeling very isolated and still not knowing what was expected of us or why we were called. Pearl Harbor had been bombed, Clark Field, in the Philippines, had lost most of its planes. There were rumors that the Japanese had landed on the Pacific side of the Canal. Once we were settled down, there was a terrible silence broken suddenly by the prolonged cry of an infant. My cot had the dusty smell of military storage and had obviously been opened just for my evening visit. I felt the wet sandbags that formed the wall next to my bed. In the dark, Others must have felt as helpless and forgotten as I did. We all seemed to be waiting on our backs, for the arrival of the Japanese. I don’t remember how long we remained like this; but, at such times we swallow fear. I do recall my surprise to see the red glow of a covered flashlight and how the way that it paused long enough to recognize my father. He had an iron World War One steel helmet, which was what was worn at this time. Around his waist he had a wide web belt that held first aid supplies and other emergency equipment, as well as a canteen. He smelled like the canvas cots-like he had just been taken out of storage. Apparently, I was in the line of his chaplain’s regular duties and not the only one he would visit. He told me that a Japanese spotter plane had been seen on the Atlantic side but there had been no other indication of a threat. A bugler blew some sort of call to sound an all clear. The lights did not go on again, but we were led out in short order and returned to our quarters. I was eight years old. Read the rest of this entry »


‪Preparing for Invasion(s)

by Terry J. Ball‪

Our family was stationed in Italy in the early 1950s. We used script money that looked like monopoly money. It changed color every 30 days to thwart the black market.

‪We had one “bug out” In Italy. The army picked up my mother and two brothers in the middle of the night at our house on the economy in Livorno, threw us into the back of a deuce and a half, and drove us to Germany. It took about a day as I remember. It was part of some practice maneuver preparing for the soviet invasion of eastern Europe.

‪I can also remember watching Hungarian refugees stream across the border into Austria in 1956 following the Soviet invasion of Hungary. My Dad was stationed in Salzburg at the time. Thousands and thousands of miserable wretches lined the roads carrying all their possessions in carts and on their backs. Heart breaking. The US Army manned soup kitchens and aid centers all along their route. I don’t know where they were going.

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