Leave a comment

Marines From Mars


The Dong Ha Nerd Club — operators at the south side of the station, call sign NOEFA – November Zero Echo Foxtrot Alpha — had been through a tough day with the station’s bunker getting destroyed. Top, L-R: Ray Gross, Barry Weathersby and Harry Boggs. Bottom: Bill Biggs & Jim Elshoff.

An interesting look at radio operators in Vietnam:



Leave a comment

We had our ‘new normal’

By Jan Wertzdscn3526

Going thru my things now that I’ve  moved into my new place, I found these beggar’s beads.  Arranged with a central stone, similar to Catholic beads, these were sent to me by my father once he arrived in Vietnam.  For much of the next year, until Dad came home, whenever I needed to ‘touch my Dad’, I fingered the beggar’s beads.  I can’t really say it helped, but it was as close as I could come to being with my father until he returned home.

When he did come back, he was in sorry shape.  He wasn’t front line combat, but rather support, behind the lines.  Atabrine malarial preventative had turned his skin a yellowish shade of cheese…  Working 14 hr. days with no exercise resulted in a pot belly and poor muscle tone.  Mother and I took one look at him, and promised each other that we’d get him back into shape.

Never mind that my driver’s license was less than a year old, I rode shotgun on Dad’s first attempts to drive again- Mother just wasn’t up to the stress.  His first tries were over-controlled and clumsy.  But, within a few minutes, he had the ‘touch’ for driving back.

Dad had retired on his arrival back in the states in California.  Good fresh food, and mowing the lawn got him back in shape; the yellowish color turned to a summer tan, and he began to be himself again.  Then he and Mother took a six week vacation. His parents came up from Florida to stay with me (I was finishing my freshman year at the university), and they went down to my grandparents house to live and travel for a while.

Not long after he and Mother returned from Florida, he found his new profession- personnel officer at a local bank- and I went to live in the dorm at the university.  We had our ‘new normal’.

Leave a comment

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 »

Leave a comment

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



Leave a comment

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

Leave a comment

Photos from “Heroes & Hueys” at the Albuquerque VA

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

Leave a comment

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!