Sunday, May 29, 2011

Memorial Day 2011: The American Widow Project

"Since 2001, nearly 6,000 U.S. service members have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Around half of these service members were married, leaving an estimated 3,000 military widows across our country.

The American Widow Project is a non-profit organization dedicated to the new generation of those who have lost the heroes of yesterday, today and tomorrow, with an emphasis on healing through sharing stories, tears and laughter………Military Widow to Military Widow."

I learned about the American Widow Project on a CNN Heroes segment. The organization was founded by Taryn Davis, 23, who was living the “normal” life; She had married her soul mate, was about to graduate college,and had her future with him to look forward to. That was until May 21, 2007. Her husband had been killed by multiple roadside bombs just an hour and a half after they last spoke.

Davis traveled around the country to find other women who could understand her pain. What started as a personal journey grew into an organization that is touching many lives. The CNN video captures her work and her story very well.

I admire Taryn Davis greatly. She took a soul-crushing, life-smashing fate and fought to breath life back into her world and the world of the women who shared her fate. Many of these women are such young twentysomethings, their husbands such good looking, salt-of-the-earth guys. Politicians throw around the word sacrifice pretty loosely. It helps me to see the the specific reality of that idea. I keep praying that these deaths are truly part of a smart plan to keep this country safe, and not a foreign policy that is off course.

The American Widow Project has a good website where you can read stories from the individual women, and it has a small store. If you must have a Memorial Day shopping activity, buy a pin or a tee shirt from them!