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Alabama families forge alliance to ease loss after soldiers’ death

MONTGOMERY (AP) — Relatives of Alabama service members who have died in the war on terror are forming a statewide group to support them and others who join their future ranks.

The effort is being spearheaded by Marynell Winslow of Hoover and state Rep. Paul DeMarco, R-Homewood.

They organized a weekend meeting attended by wives, children, parents, grandparents and other relatives of about a dozen Alabamians who have been killed in the service.

“We want this organization to be a vehicle for your voice,” De Marco at the meeting Saturday. “You are in the best position to help other neighbors ... who have lost someone. You are in a better position than anybody in the state or federal government.”

Primary roles

DeMarco said the organization could have three primary roles: being a statewide advocate for the families, helping them with financial benefits to which they may be entitled, and providing “people with emotional support.”

About 72 Alabama service members have died in the war on terror, most of them in Iraq. Representatives of various support agencies and organizations attended the meeting to offer their support.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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