What began as one young woman’s quest to document other young military
widows like herself, turned into a nationwide, non-profit support group called the American Widow Project. After creating a documentary film that tells the stories of six young military widows, AWP co-founder Taryn Davis, whose husband Michael was killed in Baghdad by a roadside bomb, has taken her stories of healing on the road.
If she rolls through your town, she’ll be hard to miss. She’s the 23-year-old
Texan behind the wheel of a black RV, with the names of hundreds of servicemen lost in Iraq and Afghanistan printed on the sides of the bus. You can track her route on the AWP Tour blog, whose tag line reads, “Unifying the New Generation of Military Widows…On Mile at a Time.”
Putting aside political party lines and individual opinions on whether
our involvement in the war was justified, it’s interesting to note
that it’s a young woman from Texas now on a mission to help carry other military widows through a time of great personal loss. “Military widow is an honorable title,” said Davis in a CNN interview last month. “It signifies our husband’s sacrifice.”
The American Widow Project website reminds us that these young women shouldn’t be the only ones to carry the burden of sacrifice. The site’s Help Board notes that anyone can place a yellow ribbon magnet on their car, but it’s the small deeds, like picking up groceries or offering to mow the lawn for a newly widowed, that are most appreciated.
The website also provides a page for women to post their own stories, while a MySpace page and a Twitter feed @americanwp give them a venue to chat. You can also donate through the website by sponsoring a military widow or helping to fund the AWP RV Tour.
Mix & Mingle for a Cause, a newly formed Meetup group, will host a fundraiser on Friday, June 26 at the Hyatt on Capitol Square to benefit the American Widow Project, as well as the Mid-Ohio Foodbank. During this economic downturn, food banks across the country are striving to meet a growing demand for food assistance. And for military widows struggling to provide for their families, sometimes a little comfort food can go a long way to heal more than hunger.