Fort Bragg Survivor Outreach Services held its annual Gold Star Wives Event, April 5, at the Watters Center.
The dinner was held to recognize military spouses who lost spouses while they served on active duty, said Charlotte Watson, SOS program manager, Army Community Service.
Teresa Priestner, was one of nearly 25 spouses who attended the dinner. Priestner, who lost her husband Chief Warrant Officer 4 John Priestner in a helicopter crash in Iraq in 2006, said SOS events are important for many reasons.
One of which is that the events allow spouses to stay abreast of ever-changing information about military life, explained Priestner, adding that sometimes changes are made to benefits or to entitlements for the child.
Another reason that SOS events are significant is because they allow surviving spouses to bond with one another.
Being a part of the Fort Bragg community has the benefit of not having to explain widow status to others, said Priestner who chose to stay here following her husband’s death.
“It’s so hard to be a widow, . . . ” she said. “Here, I don’t have to explain it. I just feel this is home.”
This year’s activities included Lt. Gen. Daniel Allyn, commander of XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg serving as guest speaker, and entertainment by the Horrible Folks Comedy Group.
According to Watson, in 1945, Gold Star Wives of America, Inc. was organized with the help of Eleanor Roosevelt to assist the Families left behind by the fallen servicemembers and veterans of the U.S. armed forces.
Its first meeting was held, April 5, 1945. This year marked the 65th anniversary of that first meeting.
On Fort Bragg, SOS is located at the, corner of Knox and Macomb streets (Building 2-1361).
For more information about its services, call 396-0384 or visit http://www.fortbraggmwr.com/acs/survivor-outreach-services/.