When it comes to putting a real face on war, the American Widow Project has done just that.
The non-profit organization was created in 2007 as a way to reach out to the widows of American servicemen who gave their lives on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan. Founded and headed by widows, the organization has become a tether for women who have lost their husbands and may not know what to do next. The women support each other through sharing their experiences and bringing comfort to help ease the hardships they face.
It is a source of pride for the community that our university will be the first college to host an event for the project.
The event will give students the chance to share the personal stories of some of the women, see a documentary made by the organization, learn how to start a nonprofit organization and have the opportunity to make memory teddy bears that will go to the children who have lost their fathers to war. Not only does an event like this benefit those who wish to attend, but it also gives back to the organization that puts it on by raising awareness for an important issue facing our community.
Since the goal of the American Widow Project is to unify a new generation of women in their early 20s and 30s who are looking for a way to go on with their lives in the face of deepest despair, it will be an enlightening experience for students to bare witness to the stories of the strength these young widowed women have shown.
We owe it to them to hear what they have to say, what they have been through and to get a first-hand glimpse into how the war has affected those at home.
News editor Rose Baca for the editorial board.