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American Widow Project reaches out

September 19, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
There have been 4,155 military deaths since the war began in Iraq; hundreds more in Afghanistan. Now, one young widow is reaching out to help others who have lost loved ones in the wars."This is Arabic. And it says 'love is stronger than death,'" said Nicole Hart, as she showed Eyewitness News Reporter Amy Powell a tattoo on her arm.

Those words mean a lot to Nicole. Her husband shared an identical tattoo.

"He wrote his diary to me. One of his entries says, 'Nicole, even if I die, I will love you after death.'"

David Hart was serving his second tour of duty in Iraq when he was shot and killed in an ambush in January. He left Nicole a widow at the age of 23.

"It was just that I needed, someone who knew exactly what I meant when I said that my heart is broken. Or, when I said, 'What am I going to do?'" said Nicole.

Depressed and lonely after losing her childhood sweetheart, Nicole found support online through the American Widow Project.

"It just started explaining what thoughts and emotions I could expect over the next few days, weeks," said Nicole.

Founder Taryn Davis started reaching out to young military widows a little more than a year ago, after her own husband, Michael, was killed while serving in Iraq.

"After the funeral is over and people start leaving, and people start going on with their lives ... And you realize, 'My life's gone -- What do I do?'" said Taryn.

Taryn went around the country and interviewed six widows. She turned their stories of loss and survival into a documentary.

"We're not trying to tell you what you need to do. We're not trying to tell you to do this or that. We're just trying to tell you, 'We understand that you've lost your true love,'" said Taryn.

Taryn hopes to get her DVD into as many hands of widows and widowers as possible. She used her own money to make 3,000 copies and plans to travel around the country handing them out.

Nicole says the project has changed her life.

"It's because of these women that I can get through today and face tomorrow," said Nicole.

 

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