Gold Star Wives of America, Inc. (GSW) is a non-profit 501(C)4 national military widows service organization chartered by the United States Congress. It is an organization of widows and widowers whose spouses died while on active duty in the military services or as the result of a military service connected cause. GSW was organized in 1945 by the war widows of World War II. It is a Congressional chartered, non-profit organization incorporated in the State of New York. Eleanor Roosevelt signed the original GSW incorporation papers. GSW has approximately 10,000 members. We have 8 regions and 53 chapters located in 26 states. Our National Convention is held once a year. Each Region has an annual Regional Conference to prepare for the National Convention. Most of our chapters meet monthly and for special events and outings. The primary mission of GSW is to provide service, support and friendship to the widows and widowers of military personnel who died on active duty or as the result of a service connected cause. Our members both visit and volunteer at Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals and military hospitals. We also volunteer in our local communities. GSW members participate in the national memorial services on Memorial Day weekend and Veterans Day. We also participate in many other smaller memorial services at various locations throughout the year. Our members assist widows and widowers in understanding and obtaining the benefits provided by Congress. We work to improve and enhance the benefits widows and widowers receive. We network with other Veterans Service Organizations and with the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs toward this goal. We also work to stay current on the various state legislation and benefits for survivors and assist widows and widowers in obtaining state benefits.