Taryn was living the “normal” life. She had married her soul mate, was about to graduate college, and had her future with him to look forward to. That was until May 21, 2007.
Taryn’s husband had been killed by multiple roadside bombs just an hour and a half after they last spoke. Feeling lost and alone in the new world she’d been thrown into, she began traveling around the country to hear other women’s stories of love, tragedy… and overall survival. In hearing their accounts, she hoped to learn more about the title that had been given to her… that of a military widow.
What began as her own personal journey, has expanded into a non-profit organization, a documentary film, and network of healing that has reached thousands. She has grasped on and embraced her new life with all the enthusiasm and passion she had when Michael was still alive. Inspired off the willpower and strength of the women “in her shoes”, she has found that true love is eternal, that the lessons her husband shared still run through her veins, the heart can heal and that she is not alone. For her work with the AWP she has been named a Top 10 CNN Hero, L’oreal’s National Women of Worth, one of Newsweek’s 150 Women Shaking the World, DVF People’s Voice Recipient and other honors.
Lindsey has been working with the AWP since 2009. She lost her brother-in-law in Iraq in 2007 and personally sends out every Welcome Package and works with AWP donors first-hand. She has a love and admiration for all of the military and takes time to read about there heroes of the widows we serve. When she’s not working she is loving every minute with her daughter, Elena, husband, Cameron and Togo the Huskie.
Erin is a live life to the fullest and regret nothing type of person. Even before losing her husband Sgt. Blake Stephens in May 2007 in Iraq they both had enjoyed life as much as they could of. Both of them had passions for extreme things, fitness and traveling the world. After becoming a widow Erin’s whole world changed and went upside down. She had no idea how anyone could survive losing their ultimate love. One of the main thing that got her through it was knowing she didn’t want him looking down on her and being disappointed. Eight months after Blake died Erin went on a 5 month world tour and discovered herself again. The biggest high in life for Erin is getting a new passport stamp yearly. It took her 3 years to discover the AWP thanks to her step-mom searching for ways to find Erin comfort and it took Erin another 6 months to come up with the nerves to actually do something about it. That was the best decision she could of made for herself going on that AWP getaway! The life long friends Erin’s met and the addition to her “family” has grown considerably from these widows helping to fill the void in her heart. Erin is more than ecstatic to become apart of the AWP and knowing she’ll be meeting more amazing women that will continue to make her grateful for the life that she has.