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MAMF Military Child Picture Book Project

April is the month of the Military Child and the Museum of the American Military Family (MAMF) will be showcasing books by and for brats throughout the month. As part of our showcase, we want to honor the military child through the creation of picture books. During the month of April, we want to encourage you to make a picture book of your life as a military child, or the life of another military child. Once the book is complete, you can share it with your family and friends. Of course, the museum would love to have a copy and will be proud to preserve and display your story.

My name is Cheryl Avila, and I am the museum’s Storyteller. I have created a picture book on PowerPoint to show you how simple it can be. Click on this link to see the picture book I created to honor my brother, Karl Morton.

If you would like to create your own picture book, start by collecting photos of the military child. If the images are already digital images, save them on a new folder on your desktop. If the images are not digital, you can take a picture of the photo with your camera and save it that way. If you have the capability to scan the photo, that would be good, too. You need at least twice as many photos as pages in your picture book.

Open a blank presentation on PowerPoint. 

For the cover of your book, include the name of the military child and perhaps a statement about the person. Click on New Slide for the pages of the book.

I used the “Two Content” option for most of the pages. If I only wanted one photo, I used the Title and Content slide.

Use the photo icon on the slide to insert a photo. You can add additional photos on the page by using the Insert tab and selecting Picture. 

I then added a sentence to each page explaining the photos. Since it is a picture book, I tried to keep the sentences simple. I then went to the Design tab and clicked on “Design Ideas.” 

I scrolled through the various design options until I found a design I liked for that page. Save your PowerPoint and it is ready to share. You can print your book or share over email.  It was that easy!

You can now share your picture book by attaching it to an email to your family and friends. You can also print out the book if you prefer a hard copy of your book. If you would like to share your picture book with MAMF, we would love your digital contribution to the museum. If you create your book using PowerPoint, it will need to be converted to a pdf to put on the MAMF website. To convert your ppt to a pdf for the museum, click on the down arrow in the box under the name of your file. A drop-down box will appear and click on PDF (*pdf).

Send your pdf to militaryfamilymuseum@comcast.net. Put “MAMF Military Child Picture Book” in the subject line of your email. Please put your name and contact information in the email. If you prefer printing your story, you can send it by mail to:

Museum of the American Military Family, 546B Road 333 Tijeras, NM 87059.

All of us at the museum look forward to seeing what you come up with!


Author: Kayt C. Peck

Even the sturdiest of people have their limits. For Captain Melinda Morris, USN, that limit came in the form of a bomb that violated the peace of a Baghdad café. Her career ended, her body damaged, her marriage finished, her home lost—a strong woman learned what it meant to be broken. She remembered her father’s words from over two decades before. “If you ever need us, the ranch is here. Come home.”She did. She left the sea that had been her life to return to her first love—the land and horses. Her father was long dead, but the ranch was there, as well as the memory of his reminder that a Morris never gives up. Those words held her fast as she dealt with the nightmares that never quite ended, leaving her with the mystery of an unfilled promise to a dying mother whose name she never knew. The ranch, the horses, the love of family, and a promise to her brother, Hoyt, gave her an anchor to hang onto. When Addie Romero returned home to the neighboring ranch, she brought home a history of success and her own nightmares from a story she could tell no one, at least not until she saw Mel again. Former three-time World Champion Cowgirl—an accomplishment that was her springboard into a successful career in the world or horses, movies, and the California high life—Addie was ready to return, perhaps to heal an old and deep wound that never lost its grip on her heart and mind. Together, Addie and Mel would seek the gold to mend the broken, to create something even more beautiful than before.https://www.amazon.com/Kayt-Peck/e/B01CIF6K80/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_book_1

Kayt C. Peck has been a professional writer for over 30 years while applying her skills in a variety of situations from serving as a journalist to being a public affairs officer in the US Naval Reserve to efforts as a highly successful grants expert who has raised over $30 million for nonprofit and non-governmental organizations both foreign and domestic.

The pages of her novels reflect a vibrancy only possible because of the wealth of life experience.  She has lived and worked as a cowhand, a truck driver, a naval officer, a glbt activist, a firefighter, a search and rescue section chief and so much more.

As a regular author for Sapphire Books she draws a dedicated readership because of her ability to create characters of depth and complexity which her readers can call friend.  Those characters live and breath in a setting of equal depth and complexity.


Have a good school story to share? Seeking submissions for new anthology

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Schooling With Uncle Sam will focus on personal memories–what it was like to work or study in the school system, to live and work in a foreign country or military installation – the mundane, funny, or tragic events and interactions that made for a memorable experience. Stories should be about a certain time, event, or experience about school/work/life with DoDEA (or with its predecessor organizations such as DoDDS, USDESEA, DEG, etc.) Authors included in the anthology will receive a free copy of the book in lieu of payment.  All stories become the property of the Museum of the American Military Family Special Collections Library. Proceeds from the sale of the book will be used to help the Museum continue to bring exhibits and programming to the museum community free of charge.This is a chance to preserve a unique history and to be a part of it. It’s an opportunity to share a personal look at a world-wide school system serving America’s world-wide interests and assuring that your involvement with it will be recognized. You can submit up to three different pieces for the book.


Celebrate the Museum’s 10th by sending us a card!


Help us document & preserve a unique history

On October 14, 2021,  the Defense Department Dependents Schools will observe its 75th anniversary. In conjunction with that, our museum will release a commemorative anthology,  Schooling with Uncle Sam.

The book will focus on  personal memories–what it was like to work or study in the school system, and the unique opportunities we had – the mundane, funny, or tragic events and the interactions that made for a memorable experience. Stories can be about a certain time, event, or memory about school/work/life with DoDEA (or with its predecessor organizations such as DoDDS, USDESEA, DEG, etc.) We are looking for stories from students, parents, teachers, support staff and administration. 

Everyone has a school story or two! This your chance to help us document and  preserve a unique history.

Authors included in the anthology will receive a free copy of the book in lieu of payment.  All stories become the property of the Museum of the American Military Family Special Collections Library. Proceeds from the sale of the book will be used to help the Museum continue to bring exhibits and programming to the museum community free of charge.

Please email your story NLT Friday, July 2, 2021 to OlsonAllen@msn.com.


Author: Jeff Gottesfeld


Author: Dan Coberly

Dan Coberly’s debut novel is original, funny, entertaining, deep, and sad all at the same time. A wonderfully unique, page-turning mix of satire, serious social commentary, and witness to signs of his times, it’s a must-read story that must be told. He’ll grab your attention with vivid descriptions of life as a small boy of a military father and a French war bride trying to make sense out of a brave new world in post-WWII Munich and Verdun. He walks us through youthful enthusiasm while growing up in a Cold War military subculture, wide-eyed culture shock encountering race relations, and anti-Vietnam war sentiments that became a scathing indictment of “democraZy”. Somehow, he survives man’s inhumanity to man during otherwise humorous careers as a soldier and a government bureaucrat around the world, shaping maturity and wisdom along the way.

Product details

  • Paperback : 573 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1733945806
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1733945806

CALL FOR STORIES: 75 Years DODDS/DoDEA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

On October 14, 2021,  the Museum of the American Military Family will observe the 75th anniversary of the opening of Defense Department Dependents Schools in Europe and the Far East by releasing a commemorative anthology,  “SCHOOLING WITH UNCLE SAM.”

The anthology will not focus on the school system history or governing policies but on  personal memories–what it was like to work or study in the school system, to live and work in a foreign country or military installation and move from year to year to another country or state  – the mundane, funny, or tragic events and interactions that made for a memorable experience. Stories should be about a certain time, event, or experience about school/work/life with DoDEA (or with its predecessor organizations such as DoDDS, USDESEA, DEG, etc.)

This is a chance to preserve a unique history and to be a part of it. It’s an opportunity to share a personal look at a world-wide school system serving America’s world-wide interests and assuring that your involvement with it will be recognized.

Your story  should be first-person and can be as long or short as you choose. Please also consider including black-and-white photos to help illustrate your memoir. You can submit up to three different pieces for the book.

Authors included in the anthology will receive a free copy of the book in lieu of payment.  All stories become the property of the Museum of the American Military Family Special Collections Library. Proceeds from the sale of the book will be used to help the Museum continue to bring exhibits and programming to the museum community free of charge.

Story suggestions … a unique classroom, your daily commute to school, your host nation neighborhood, a military “incident” in or around school, a favorite host nation restaurant or field trip experience,  a celebrity or high ranking or local dignitary visiting your school, something funny at school. Or an event memorable to you.

You need not be an accomplished writer to participate. MAMF will provide minor editing to sharpen your contribution.

The deadline for submissions is Friday, July 2, 2021. The anthology will be released at a public anniversary observance in October of 2021.

To submit a story, or for more information, please e-mail the submissions to OlsonAllen@msn.com.

To learn more about the museum visit the website: www.militaryfamilymuseum.org and follow us on FB http://www.facebook.com/MuseumoftheAmericanMilitaryFamily.

WE LOOK FORWARD TO SOME REMARKABLE MEMORIES!

 


Some of the Museum Anthologies & Contributors

Our books are available on Amazon.com and Lulu.com. To order, click the title.

Brat Time Stories:

On Freedom’s Frontier:

Shout:

My Hero Dog:

War Child:

An Art Teacher’s Window


TV Series Review: We Are Who We Are

When it was announced that HBO was creating a limited fictional series about military brats, I was interested. But I also had low expectations, especially when I saw the initial trailers. The show was being pitched as a collection of angsty teens living on a US Army post in Italy. It was a device to show teens, still trying to figure out who they are, living within two separate cultures. A little America overseas.

The creator is Luca Guadagnino, who gained recognition for his movie, Call Me By Your Name. I watched it. The setting was pretty, but the storyline (a 17-year-old having a brief affair with a 24-year-old graduate student) wasn’t my kind of subject matter. So having Guadagnino involved with the brat series wasn’t a selling point for me. And, as it turned out, the series, like the movie, is heavy on location and mood, but character background is nearly non-existent.

The brat series, We Are Who We Are, is filled with dysfunctional people, both the teens and their parents. There are certainly dysfunctional families in the military, and they have been portrayed in The Great Santini and Blue Sky. But both of those movies came out of true brat stories, so they didn’t feel exploitive like We Are Who We Are does. 

Here are some examples of gross dysfunction in We Are Who We Are. The lieutenant colonel, Richard, trades fuel on the black market; he also allows his men to get into an off-post fight while he sits at a table next to them doing nothing. His wife, Jenny, has an affair with the commanding officer’s wife, Maggie, who happens to be a major also stationed on post. The CO, Sarah, appears to know about the affair. Worse, Maggie has done this before in other locations. The CO’s son, Fraser, one of the main teen characters, is abusive to his mother. He is also a raging alcoholic, and yet she supplies him with alcohol. In addition, she encourages him to have a questionable friendship with her aide, Jonathan, while she is flirting with the aide herself. There is so much inappropriate behavior among these officers they all should be relieved of their jobs.

The single biggest problem with the series (in terms of representing brat life) is the way the CO and her family are introduced. They roll onto the post, and the CO makes no attempt to look professional upon arrival. She is shown her quarters, but the woman showing her around (the above-mentioned Jenny) says that while they are the nicest quarters on the post, the CO doesn’t have to live there. No mention that these are quarters assigned to the CO. Later when they pass the chapel, the incoming CO complains about the cross outside, saying something about respecting non-Christians, seemingly unaware that post chapels are non-denominational and serve a variety of spiritual needs.

Later Fraser has to go get his ID card. He is 14. He has been living with his mother his whole life, yet appears to have never gotten an ID card before. Later another dependent shows him the commissary. Evidently he has never seen one of those, either. This just doesn’t ring true for a dependent whose mother is a colonel and who has been moving her family around from duty station to duty station. 

In another part of the first episode, Maggie (remember, she is a major herself) tries to sign some paperwork because she is the spouse and is told she can’t. She should have already known what she could and couldn’t sign.

Another detail which caught my attention in a later episode is the post movie theater. It is a multiplex, though as far as I know, today’s bases still don’t have those.

Episode four involves a drunken teen orgy in an off-post house they break into. One of the soldiers on post, Craig, is the older brother of one of the teens. Because he is unexpectedly being deployed, he decides to marry his Italian girlfriend in a very last minute wedding at the chapel (are chaplains up for such a thing?). And evidently either Craig didn’t have to fill out any paperwork to marry his non-American girlfriend or he dispensed with that step (evidently without causing a problem with the chaplain). Here is the official policy. “An important first step in the marriage of a service member to a foreign national outside the United States is to obtain Military Service approval. … These regulations require that all members planning to marry a foreign national will submit an application for permission to marry to their area commander or a designated representative. This is required regardless of whether the service member is stationed overseas or only traveling there to get married. As part of the application process, the alien spouse will receive a medical screening and a background investigation.”

In another other episode, the teens again trash the same private house with no apparent consequences. In the final episode, the two main characters (Fraser and the lieutenant colonel’s daughter, Caitlin) run off to a concert in another city without telling their parents. Caitlin is supposed to be packing because the family is being transferred and they are leaving in the morning. Not only is she gone, she misses the train back to the post. The series ends without us knowing if her family is in sheer panic at her disappearance and whether she is in any sort of trouble.

The producers spent a lot of time and money recreating an Army post in Italy (after the Army told them they didn’t have permission to film on a real post), but not enough effort to get significant brat details right. Brat life is a culture, and this series was written by people who don’t understand it. Should the show creators be given artistic license? No, because the errors are not necessary to advance the story. They just come across as sloppiness rather integral. The fish out of water theme for Fraser doesn’t ring true if he has been living on posts and moving his entire life. He can rebel against it, but being unfamiliar with it is unrealistic.And was it okay to create a series where every officer is breaking one or more military regulations? Maybe, if the goal was to focus on the flaws within the military system. But that was never explored. We are just presented a collection of adults making such poor decisions,  they are no more grounded than the teens. People with little or no connection to the military may think they are seeing a true military experience, but those of us who do know life on bases/posts see the disconnects to reality. It is okay to create a coming-of-age series, but don’t set it among brats unless you want to accurately reflect brats

Suzanne Lainson