According to the Department of Defense (DoD) the current casualty count in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is 6600. Sadly this number does not include service members that succumb to injuries once they return home or those that have suffered with PTSD and commit suicide.
These numbers and their overall enormity just breaks my heart. I know several women that have lost their husbands in these wars, I have worried about my husband with each deployment. It is estimated that about half of the those men and women killed in war leave behind a spouse and/or children, currently estimated at approximately 4400 children have lost their parent. I could not imagine what these families go through starting with a knock on the door and having to continue a life without that important piece.
I have been a board member and volunteer with the Got Your Back Network since it's inception. Got Your Back works to help and support the families of our military heroes. GYBN works to bring some brightness, joy, comfort and encouragement to military families who feel adrift or are facing a difficult time in their lives. We offer military families dealing with the ultimate loss a way to see a brighter day through a variety of special events, activities, mentoring and guidance services.
Through GYBN I have been able to get to know so many of these extraordinary families. My passion in life has always been to make a difference and with each event, email and phone call I am able to do so. I have planned so many events with this organization that it's hard to pick a favorite however each January I am able to participate in Project Gratitude, an initiative that brings 20 widows and their daughters to Las Vegas and Miss America. Through this I have been able to meet several of these unbelievable wives and their children. We talked about their husbands and fathers, I learned about these men and could see the pride welling in their loved ones eyes. I watched their children play together somehow understanding eachother without talking. Friendships were reaffirmed or created. It is memorable to say the least.
The objective of GYBN is simple yet vital one. We want to make sure every military family who has suffered the ultimate loss knows that they're not alone.
Please help the families of our fallen http://gotyourbacknetwork.org/