A glenda carter story
Several months ago Joan Meyerson, writer of the National Memorial Day Concert was searching for a story. She contacted 24 year old Taryn Davis, Founder of The American Widow Project to ask her to help her connect with a family from the Afghanistan War, instead Joan realized, Taryn would be her story.
During their communication, Taryn told her about Glenda M. Carter
whom she had met at a very pivotal time of her life and Joan began to put
the story together.
Three years ago Glenda who lives in eastern Oregon and Taryn who lives in Texas met on the VeteransWidows web site. Taryn was searching for support and Glenda the author of Sacred Shadow, Sacred Ground: A Vietnam War Widow's Journey Through Unresolved Grief, was looking for a way to reach out to the new generation of Widow's of War. Both women were able to see beyond the obvious generational gap and focus on the greater need to reach out to the new widows so that they would not have to go it alone. Taryn's husband, Cpl. was killed by a road side bomb in Iraq on May 21, 2007 and Glenda's husband PFC Bruce L. Carter was killed in an ambush in on September 11, 1968.
In 2007, even with the tool of the internet, there was still not a lot of support for widows. “It seems that the widow is the last person our society wants to look at or deal with. I think it is because we are a reminder of the .” Glenda said. “We haven't known how to deal with the widow. Much to often people in our society continue to say, 'She's young, she'll get over it' or 'move on' not realizing how painful those comments are to someone who has lost the love of their life. While others can go back to their lives after a brief time of grief, a widow is left to re-define her entire life and it is nothing like just 'getting over' a case of the flu.”
Glenda knew early in their friendship that Taryn was an answer to her prayers. “When I saw her do her first live interview on ABC, I knew God had answered my prayer. Taryn was the face, voice and personality that can cut through the many barriers put in place by society and reach the widows.” As Joan continued to put the story together, Glenda realized that she would be going to Washington DC for the 2010 National Memorial Day Concert. Capital Concerts paid the way and made the travel arrangements. Glenda who suffers from PTSD said, “Going from my life in eastern Oregon to such a huge event challenged every part of me and felt very much like I was heading 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow' for real. But they took care of all the details and all I had to do was show up.”
While in DC, Glenda was able to meet several of the young widow's of war from all parts of the country. They accompanied her to the Vietnam Memorial Wall on Friday night and on Saturday, Glenda went with them to Section 60 in Arlington National Cemetery where many and Afghanistan soldiers are buried.
AJ Cook and were the actresses that performed Taryn and Glenda's story. Among other talents, Glenda met Gary Sinise, Joe Montegna and singer Katherine Jenkins. “Other than spending quality time with 'my girls' probably the most memorable time was going to the Vietnam Wall with Blythe Danner and Joan Meyerson and later having lunch with Blythe Danner. Blythe is one of the most gracious women I've ever met.”
“Sitting beside Taryn and some of the young widow's in the front row of the concert, I whispered to Taryn, 'Look what you have done', I knew she would correct me at any moment but I let her look around her in bewilderment as to what I meant, then I smiled and said, “no, you
didn't put all this together but you got us to the front row.”
“We still have a lot of healing work to do with all generations. A part of the healing work is in educating society on how to deal with family and friends who lose someone. Loss affects all of us. For us the Concert was a historical event. Just talking openly about military widows is a step in the right direction. I decided early on when Taryn and I met that my focus would be on the military widow. In helping the widow, I help children and families. Taryn's work is outstanding and helps widow's of all generations to learn to live again.”
You can visit the AWP website and read many of the stories they share and see the activities that they do to help them rebuild their lives www.americanwidowproject.org