Next monday is Memorial Day, which gets everyone excited for summer. However, Memorial Day is also a time to remember those that have served our country, our military and their families. We watch the evening news and hear of road side bombings in Afghanistan and somehow become de-sensitized to the fact that those soldiers were people’s sons, brothers and husbands. Those left behind are holding pieces to shattered hearts and lives.
One woman who lived the nightmare of two service men knocking on her door was then 22-year-old Taryn Davis. It was 2007 and she was told that her young husband, Michael had been killed in Iraq. Taryn’s life was shattered. She felt alone, devastated and didn’t know where to turn.
She decided to travel the country and interview other military widows and the result was both her healing and a documentary she entitled “The American Widow Project.” A few short months later she founded a non-profit with the same name, The American Widows Project.
Taryn’s goal was simply to ensure that no military widow should feel alone in her grief. She believes that each military widow deserves the opportunity and tools to help rebuild her life. When a widow reaches out to The American Widow Project they immediately receive Taryn’s film, a phone call from another widow and thousands of online supporters as well as local support groups. In addition there are monthly activities such as sky diving, zip-linning or surfing, to help these women feel alive again.
To date The American Widow Project has reached out to over 800 widows and counting. Since 2001,over 6,600 U.S. service members have lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. This number doesn’t include the thousands more that have lost their lives due to sudden illness, accident, homicide or those that have taken their own lives due to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
This Memorial Day, lets take a moment to remember not just those who we lost but also those left behind.
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