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Who Are the Gold Star Wives?

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Who Are the Gold Star Wives?

Gold Star Wives at the 2009 Congressional Reception in Washington D.C.

Photo courtesy of U.S. Army.
Widows and widowers of servicemembers killed in action are referred to as Gold Star Wives.

In 1945 a small group of women gathered together in a military spouse's home to offer solace and comfort to the widows of servicemembers killed in action. The meetings continued and the list of women seeking this type of support grew.

Wanting to meet the needs of the grieving widows, the group expanded and eventually formed what is now a non-profit, Congressional chartered organization known as the Gold Star Wives of America.

As of 2010 there are over 10,000 members among the 60 chapters. Besides offering comfort and support, the Gold Star Wives help their fellow members navigate the benefits system while also legislating for improved benefits.

Although initially formed by women, the Gold Star Wives know women also pay the ultimate price and welcome widowers whose spouse was killed in action.

Detailed information, including membership applications, FAQs and resources are available at the The Gold Star Wives Web site.

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