Memorial Day is a day to remember and honor those who have served and sacrificed for our country. No one understands this more than a military spouse. The other day when I saw this piece on CBS News This Morning, I knew I needed to share. It is a letter from Taya Kyle, Chris Kyle’s widow, to herself. To me this puts Memorial Day in perspective and I hope it does the same for you.
Today, think about all of those service men, service women and their families who give so much to each of us.
This past weekend I went to see American Sniper, an amazing movie. It made me think of many of the military non-profit post I have done over the years. More than anything the movie reminded me of the incredible sacrifices our military families make.
The movie is one that stays with you. When sitting down to write I couldn’t decide if I should write about the Navy Seal Honor Fund, which supports the children of fallen Navy Seals or if I should revisit one of my favorite, The American Widow Project…which I decided to do here. The story begins with that fateful knock and the nightmare that followed of the 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.
While the movie American Sniper was about a hero, it is the people like Taryn Davis who take care of those left behind , who are also hereos.
To date Taryn has helped over 800 military widows and counting.