FUTURE's Inaugural "Hugs for Healing" Flight to
Iraq for the
Gold Star Moms September 2010
In September 2010, FUTURE
escorted a group of Gold Star Moms to northern Iraq on a humanitarian
aid service project to meet with Iraqi Kurdish, Shia, and Sunni women.
This unprecedented event helped to advance reconciliation and nation building
in the country of Iraq through the power of women initiatives and international
cooperation. It provided humanitarian service and outreach to Iraqi widows,
orphans, and the handicapped. It helped to heal the emotional scars of
both Iraqi and U.S. women who have lost loved ones due to war and violence.
It brought together women from different cultures and backgrounds and
united them as sisters and allowed them to hug, heal, and communicate.
Below are pictures and links to blogs from several of the women who traveled
with FUTURE on this amazing
and memorable journey of healing.
Gold Star Mom, Amy Galvez:"I am the proud mom of Marine
Cpl. Adam Galvez who was killed in combat in Iraq in 2006. My journey
as a Gold Star Mom has not been an easy one, but has been full of blessings
and unique opportunities. Here, you'll read about some of my thoughts
and experiences, through the eyes of a Gold Star Mom."
Professional photographer, Cindy Hosea, accompanied FUTURE and
the Gold Star Moms to Iraq:"This is a small and inadequate tribute
to the brave soldiers and their brave mothers, who I now call my friends." http://myjourneytoiraq.blogspot.com
To see more news reports and newspaper articles about this trip,
please click on our "News and Events" section.
Special Thanks and Recognition:
FUTURE is very thankful
to all those who assisted us in this groundbreaking endeavor. We would
especially like to thank the Iraqi Embassy and the Kurdistan Regional
Government Office in Washington D.C. for their support and assistance
in providing the necessary visas and the on-the-ground coordination necessary
to ensure our safety and comfort while visiting their country.
FUTURE would also like
to thank the people who contributed financially, no matter how large or
small, and we thank you for believing in us and in our vision to assist
both the Gold Star Moms and the Iraqi women and their families.
A special thanks also goes to Dr. Nashat Nadri and his staff at Flash
for their excellent personalized service and for ensuring that all air
travel and selected hotel accommodations for our group of 18 people were
taken care of in a professional, courteous, and prompt manner.
Lastly, we want to thank the many people who volunteered of their time
and talents to plan, organize, and implement this project to its successful
conclusion. In particular, we want to thank Chaplain Ron Bradley for volunteering
of his time and skills to assist in facilitating the healing process of
the Gold Star Moms. We also want to thank Doug Scott and Kirk Weigand
for volunteering their services as our security detail. Their expertise,
dedication, and skill in coordinating with local security personnel on
the ground greatly heightened our delegation's overall level security.