Sunday, April 15, 2012

About the Potomac Chapter of the Gold Star Wives of America

The Potomac Chapter is the greater Washington, DC area chapter of Gold Star Wives of America, Inc., a national service organization for widows and widowers whose spouses died while serving in the armed forces, or as the result of a service-connected cause. 

First and foremost, our chapter exists to provide service, support, and friendship to widows and widowers—men and women who know the personal hardship of losing a spouse in military service or for service-related reasons and who seek the camaraderie of others who personally understand and appreciate this life-altering experience.

Be it friendly advice, help with obtaining earned benefits, or something as simple as a shoulder to cry upon, our chapter’s members are personally dedicated to help those who have paid a painful price in defense of our great nation, its form of government, and our cherished rights.

The Gold Star Wives of America was organized by the widows of the Second World War and its first meeting was on April 5, 1945, when four young widows met in founder Marie Jordan's apartment on West 20th Street in New York City. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt was one of the early members of the Gold Star Wives, and one of the members who signed the original New York state incorporation papers. 

Today the Gold Star Wives of America is a congressionally chartered, non-profit organization incorporated in the State of New York and exempt from tax under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Gold Star Wives has approximately 10,000 members and is organized into 8 regions and 49 chapters in 26 states. Our National Convention is held annually, and each region typically hosts its own annual conference to prepare for the National Convention. The Potomac Chapter typically meets monthly and for special events and activities.

One realm where Gold Star Wives of America has both served its members and earned the respect of the nation’s leaders is in its legislative advocacy programs. Gold Star Wives of America members are renowned for bringing attention to the issues that impact surviving spouses and their families, and have worked to successfully pass legislation in critical areas such as survivor benefits, military healthcare, and education.

The Potomac Chapter of the Gold Star Wives also works to support deserving military-related charities, and our members can often be found visiting military hospitals, volunteering in patriotic and commemorative-themed events, and assisting in other areas where our unique and hard-won experience can help to improve the lives of service members and their families.

The Gold Star Wives of America and our chapter are not organizations that anyone truly wishes to join, for our eligibility criteria comes at a terrible price. But we are comprised of people who refuse to yield in the face of loss and adversity. We come from all walks of life, and yet we share an unbreakable common bond.

If you have lost your loved one by virtue of their military service, please accept our sincere condolences for your loss, and know that we are ready and willing to stand with you in your grief.

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