I am honored to have been elected for a second term as Board Chair of Gold Star Wives of America, Inc. The purpose of the Board of Directors is to manage the business of the organization.
Gold Star Wives of America, Inc., a unique organization, is indebted to a small group of women led by Marie Jordan who founded the organization in 1945 for the widows of those who died in World War II. In 1948 it membership expanded to include the widows of those who died from a service connected illness or disability. Today membership is open to “any surviving spouse of any person of the United States military who died while a member of the armed forces of our country, or who died subsequent to such service as a result of an injury or disability incurred during such service.” The members are from all ranks, races, colors and creeds.
From the beginning the organization has worked to make sure that the government will “care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan…” as stated by President Abraham Lincoln in his Second Inaugural Address on March 4, 1865. It continues today to educate members of Congress and state legislators about the needs of the surviving spouses and children. Thank you to all who work hard in these endeavors.
Members are working at the federal level to improve and protect survivor benefits and to eliminate inequities with other federal benefits. Our legislative goals for 2017-2018 include increasing DIC, repealing the Survivor Benefit Plan/Dependency Indemnity Compensation offset (SBP/DIC offset), extending the expiration date for SSIA (Special Survivor Indemnity Allowance), amending the Federal Charter and eliminating the remarriage penalty for surviving spouses.
We are grateful for all the members who step up to become officers at the National, Region and Chapter level or be an elected or appointed member of the Board of Directors. Without them stepping forward and working, Gold Star Wives would not continue to thrive. r membership and the work all of you are doing to promote our unique organization.