The Brass Ring: A Sort of Memoir
Bill Mauldin, America’s most widely read editorial cartoonist, has written an autobiographical account of ten years in the life of a cheerful delinquent whose character was formed in such places as a Mexican mining town, an Arizona desert homestead, and a New Mexico mountain apple farm. He survived a broken home full of loving but combative relatives and came down out of the hills at the age of thirteen in the fourth year of the Great Depression, bearing a drawing tablet which bore but one commandment: “Thou shalt win.”
Hardcover: 275 pages
Publisher: Norton; 1st edition (1971)
The Tijeras-based Museum of the American Military Family and Learning Center (MAMF) announces a publication of first-hand essays and reflections on deployment by New Mexico veterans, their family members, and other loved ones. Dedicated to the idea that the standards of military service are met not only by those in uniform but also by moms and dads, siblings and kids, and spouses and partners. MAMF wishes to share that overlooked condition of our national life.
MAMF Writer-in-Residence Paul Zolbrod and co-editors Allen Dale Olson and Circe Olson Woessner have compiled From the Frontlines to the Home Front: New Mexicans Reflect on War. It contains some thirty narratives solicited from New Mexico veterans and their loved ones to project family involvement in military action. Its individual stories reflect how the induction of one soldier, sailor, or airman involves an entire family – something easily overlooked. Invoking both triumph and doubt, transcending mere flag-waving battle-glorification, the contributors pose hard questions and put combat in a domestic perspective.
“The stories are touching and powerful,” says co-editor and MAMF Director, Circe Olson Woessner. “They represent all branches of the military, reach as far back as World Wars I and II, and cover campaigns clear up to the present. They represent the voice of each author and register not only frontline experience but also first-hand triumphs and anxieties of those waiting at home.”
Adds Paul Zolbrod: “I am a proud participant in this project, not only as co-editor but also with a story of my own from the Korean War era. You don’t have to be a combat buff to enjoy these offerings. You just need heart strings as you realize that military action is a family affair. Whenever the nation is at war, we are all involved. We are all paying a price.”
The Museum will not sell the publication and plans to distribute it free of charge to reading and discussion group participants to remind readers that war exacts a toll not just on those who reach the front lines. In fact, MAMF has already planned four discussion groups, two in Tijeras, one in Santa Fe, and one in Albuquerque in which participants can compare the experiences of those in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam with more recent deployments. They will also discuss homecoming from combat and re-entering civilian life after these deployments.
In anticipation of a Veterans Day release, MAMF seeks sponsors with donations of fifty dollars to help offset book production costs. With more sponsorships, more copies can be printed and more discussion groups can be formed. Sponsors who donate before October 15 will be acknowledged in the book.
MAMF brings quality programs to the public, all free of charge. Anyone wishing to sponsor this project or who wants to learn how to participate in a reading discussion group can do so by making contact with the Museum.