FAMILIES UNITED TOWARDS UNIVERSAL RESPECT
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.
Amb Samir Sumaidaie and Gold Star Mom, Penny Young
Former First Lady of Iraq Ms. Hero Talabani with Women For FUTURE and Gold Star Moms in Sulaimaniyah, Iraq
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."
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 Travel http://www.flashtrvl.com 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.
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