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Fear at Dong Ha


By   Samuel J. Hall

I had been to Da Nang, Vietnam the prior year. It wasn’t too bad.

Now it was 1967. It was my second tour.

Our camp was up by the Demilitarized Zone.

Dong Ha was only eleven miles south of the DMZ.

We were working all over the area south of the DMZ.

Our troops extended and hardened the runway at Khe Sanh, improved the road at Con Thien and at Geo Linh, we built water tanks at Cam Lo, we built a loading ramp at the Cua Viet River and we improved the road south to Quang Tri. Continue Reading »

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Tender Moments—However Small

Not only was I an Air Force brat, but I married an officer and a gentleman in the Air Force. Been a brat for 67 years!

One fave memory for me was when my husband arrived in Ubon, Thailand to begin his tour flying F-4’s over Vietnam. In unpacking his gear, a tiny baby sock ( our daughter was little then) had gotten stuck on his t-shirt!!

He tacked it up on his wall for the sweet reminder of who was waiting for him…the reunion a few months later was epic…

Nancy Kalpakgian



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Please come come to our special event on April 15, 2016

If you cannot be with us physically, but you’d like to donate to our Museum Memorial Fund or to local RFTW activities, please send a check to: Military Family Museum, PO Box 5085, Albuquerque, NM 87185. We appreciate it very much!IMG_9242

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Photos from “Heroes & Hueys” at the Albuquerque VA

We were honored to co-host this wonderful event on March 29, 2016

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Brats, Please Participate during April!

In anticipation of National Military Brat Day, the Museum of the American Military (MAMF) is showcasing Brats through two initiatives.

We’ love your participation in the following:


Send MAMF a postcard with your Brat memory on it. Please write only your first name, your years affiliated, your branch, and a short story or memory.

We will add the postcards to our Brat Display celebrating National Military Brat Day in April. Postcards will be added to the nearly 500 in our collection– they get scanned and posted on our blog and then are stored permanently in our Special Collections Library. We really need more Brat stories represented.

Postcards can be mailed to:

Museum of the American Military Family & Learning Center
PO Box 5085
Albuquerque, NM 87185

DANDELION PHOTOS for our Facebook “Garden”:

We would like a photograph of Brats holding a dandelion, real or otherwise. ( We’ve seen postings of paintings and necklaces and beer coasters and pins of dandelions that you guys own, so we’d love to post you with the item) Please send your digital photo with your first name and branch of affiliation to:


These photos will be posted on our FB starting 1 April and going through the 30th. Let’s aim for 100 photos from Brats!



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Vietnam Commemoration Ceremony

Vietnam Veterans who are enrolled for VA health care are invited to a special Vietnam War Commemoration Ceremony on March 29 at the medical center. The ceremony, co-hosted by the Museum of the American Military Family and in partnership with the Albuquerque Veterans Benefits Administration and the Santa Fe National Cemetery, will begin at 10 a.m. in the Education Auditorium (Bldg. 39).

The ceremony’s purpose is to thank and honor Veterans of the Vietnam War, including personnel who were held as prisoners of war or listed as missing in action, for their service and sacrifice on behalf of the United States, and also to thank and honor the families of these Veterans.

Special guest speaker will be Thomas Baca, a retired U.S. Army Veteran who flew helicopter missions in Vietnam.  As an added attraction, a restored Huey helicopter of the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department will be parked on the medical center’s parade field (near the San Mateo gate) so those attending can get a close look at the aircraft that became famous as the “workhorse of Vietnam.”

Following the ceremony, Veterans can enjoy refreshments while they view the documentary, “In the Shadow of the Blade.”  The 105-minute documentary follows the 10,000-mile journey of a battle-scarred UH-1 “Huey” helicopter into America’s backyards to hear the untold stories of Vietnam War Veterans and the families who waited for them to come home.



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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:

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.