- Oct. 26, 2020
-- This year marks the 75th
anniversary of Gold Star Wives of America as well as the 75th
anniversary of the end of World War II (WWII). As a result of this war over 400,000 servicemembers sacrificed their lives to help preserve freedom, leaving behind parents, spouses, and children. Gold Star Wives of America, Inc, charted by Congress, formed in New York City by Marie Jordan Speer was originally called WWII Widows, with Eleanor Roosevelt as an original charter member. Today there are 34 chapters with nearly 6,000 members located throughout the United States.
During WWII time era benefits were dismal for military surviving families. After a death, family received $15.00 monthly per child, which was half of the designated monthly stipend when the servicemember was on military active duty. There was a need to assist these families with pursuing employment, training and education, as well as support for day care. Gold Star Wives recognized the need to improve this benefit and took their action to Congress successfully to increase the stipend. This was a pivotal moment for the organization as they continued to advocate for Gold Star families.
In 2020, Gold Star Wives of America was instrumental with changing a law that positively affected 65,000 military surviving spouses who received the Department of Defense Survival Benefit Plan and the Veterans Affairs Dependency Indemnity Compensation (DIC). Previously, surviving spouses could not receive both. A dollar for dollar offset was applied, leaving the surviving spouse with significantly less money. This was a nineteen-year fight with Congress to correct this injustice. Today one of their legislative goals is to increase the DIC for over 400,000 military surviving spouses to provide parity compared to other Federal survivor programs. For further information about Gold Star Wives of America, Inc. please see www.goldstarwives.org
or call (888)751-6350.