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Press Release: SAIGON KIDS: An American Military Brat Comes of Age in 1960’s Vietnam

For Release September 2017

A distinguished musician and compelling American storyteller announces his debut book–

SAIGON KIDS: An American Military Brat Comes of Age in 1960’s Vietnam

On-sale in September 2017 at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Books & Books and other top retailers. Publishing in conjunction with the Fall ‘17 release of Ken Burn’s PBS Documentary, “The Vietnam War”.

Miami, September 22, 2017— A new American storyteller, revealing true experiences of growing up in Vietnam, announces his debut book, SAIGON KIDS: An American Military Brat Comes of Age in 1960’s Vietnam, coming out in September 2017. Saigon will be released in conjunction with Ken Burn’s PBS Documentary.

In his debut book, prominent musician and experienced traveller, Les Arbuckle, invites readers to delve into the true memories and tales of growing up as a military brat in 1960’s Vietnam. For him, this isn’t just about the destructive war and tumult surrounding political and social issues. It’s about the exploration and understanding of experiences that a foreign land, fraught with tension, brought to American coming-of-age youths. The war, and the events leading up to it, provide an unusual backdrop to the children of military parents. Nothing about living in Saigon, Vietnam is as expected, and none of them will ever be the same again. In SAIGON KIDS, we are allowed a rare look into a long unexplored experience in history.

In SAIGON KIDS, Les Arbuckle:
• Touches upon what his childhood and expectations were like before moving to Saigon, Vietnam;

• examines how vastly different his expectations of Saigon were from reality;

• recalls the lives of his family and friends as they struggled to lead a normal life in an absurdly abnormal situation;

• recounts his first-hand experiences of disturbing, infamous acts and events that shocked the world;

• provides new information and insight to a period in history that has yet to be fully revealed. About the Author Les Arbuckle is a prominent musician and new American storyteller. In the years between his birth in 1949 and his nineteenth birthday, Les lived in Texas, North Carolina, Florida, New Mexico, California, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Hawaii and Vietnam as a dependent of the US Navy. His father, Bryant Joseph Arbuckle, was a Chief Journalist who managed the Armed Forces Radio Station in Saigon, Vietnam, from June, 1962 until June, 1964. After a stint with the 50th Army Band at Fort Monroe, Virginia Les attended the Berklee College of Music (BA) and New England Conservatory (MM). He is a professional saxophonist living near San Diego, California with his wife, Joyce Lucia. He has performed with a variety of musical acts including The Brian Setzer Orchestra, Lou Rawls, Bernadette Peters, The San Diego Symphony Summer Pops Orchestra and The Artie Shaw Orchestra. His recordings for the Audioquest label feature well-known jazz musicians Kenny Barron, Mike Stern, Cecil McBee, John Abercrombie and Victor Lewis. Published by Mango Publishing Group (Miami). For further details, please contact Mango at info@mango.bz or 305.428.2299.

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Local Museum to Host “Run For The Wall” Motorcycle Group

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A massive group of motorcycle riders will be passing through New Mexico on May 18 and 19, and one of their stops will be the Museum of the American Military Family in Tijeras, N.M.

The “Run For The Wall” will have thousands of motorcyclists crossing the country and visiting various communities and VA facilities as they make their way to the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C. over Memorial Day weekend.

“Run For The Wall transcends the politics of man and agendas of individuals,” said Dr. Circe Olson Woessner, Executive Director of the Museum of the American Military Family & Learning Center (MAMF). “The Run brings together people from all walks of life, from all branches of service, and of all ages for a couple of weeks a year to work together for a cause that makes America proud.”

Woessner is the New Mexico coordinator for the Run For The Wall Midway Route. The Midway Route will have 300 riders as it passes through New Mexico. Duke City Harley Davidson will serve as a fuel sponsor for one leg of the New Mexico run, and will host a dinner for the riders at their dealership on May 18. Rich Ford will provide a hearty New Mexico breakfast for the group on May 19. Many New Mexico service organizations from across the state, including the Veterans Canteen Service, will contribute food or fuel. Other stops in New Mexico for Midway will include Grants/Milan, Moriarity, and Santa Rosa.

Run For The Wall’s mission is to promote healing among all veterans, their families and friends; to call for an accounting of all prisoners of war and those missing in action (POW/MIA); to honor the memory of those killed in action (KIA) from all wars, and to support U.S. military personnel around the world. Platoons and Ambassadors from the group will visit the Museum of the American Military Family on May 19. The museum is located at 546 New Mexico Highway 333 (aka Route 66) in Tijeras.

For more information, please contact Dr. Circe Olson Woessner at (505) 504-6830

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A Special Event on April 30, 2017

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Vietnam Tribute in Santa Fe

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You’re invited to a special event at the Museum of the American Military Family

VIETNAM: A TALE OF TWO WARS

Linda VanZandt, award-winning oral historian recently relocated to Albuquerque, is excited to partner with the Museum of the American Military Family & Learning Center, to bring her multimedia Vietnam War exhibit to the museum (546B State Hwy 333, Tijeras, NM 87059) on April 30 from 1:30-5:00 p.m. The exhibit features sound portraits of Vietnamese Americans living on the Northern Gulf Coast of Mississippi and New Orleans – former allies of U.S. veterans and children of war, “boat people” who risked everything fleeing their homeland after the fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975, a date they commemorate as Black April.

While accompanying several American veterans on a trip back to South Vietnam in 2003, VanZandt witnessed first-hand the healing power of veterans and former allies meeting to share stories, some on the same battlefields where they fought. Continue Reading »

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MAMF AND RUN FOR THE FALLEN

Board Member Ole represented MAMF at an organizational meeting on March 30 to plan the 2018 Run for the Fallen (RFTF) across New Mexico. George Lutz, a Gold Star father who created RFTF, told the dozen or so attendees that RFTF is to create a “comprehensive tribute trail across the country” to honor all service members who have been killed or who died in “the War on Terror” since October 12, 2000. That date he said, was the attack on the USS Cole, considered the very first assault on America in that war.

Next year’s Run will “start at Fort Erwin in California on April 7 and end at Arlington Cemetery on August 5.” He said it will pass through 19 states and cover 6,000 miles. “We’ll be in New Mexico about ten days, from May 11th to 20th,” he said. “The final version of the New Mexico stretch will go from Four Corners to Albuquerque then south and northeast enroute to Amarillo. Continue Reading »