Shalini Madaras stands in front of the Pfc. Nicholas A. Madaras Home, a residence she established for female veterans at 66 Elmwood Avenue, in Bridgeport, Conn., and named for her son. The home opened this fall on what would have been Nick’s 25th birthday. Ann Hermes/Staff
Connecticut Lt. Gov. Nancy S. Wyman speaks before the opening and ribbon cutting of the Pfc. Nicholas A. Madaras Home with Female Soldiers: Forgotten Heroes, a transitional home for homeless female veterans and their children in Bridgeport, Connecticut, Friday, October 21, 2011. Ann Hermes/Staff
Greg Goulart, with The Patriot Guard Riders, stands at attention during the opening and ribbon cutting. Ann Hermes/Staff
Attendees clap after the national anthem. Ann Hermes/Staff
Senator Richard Blumenthal, (D-Conn.), addresses the crowd in front of the Pfc. Nicholas A. Madaras Home during its public opening. Ann Hermes/Staff
Joy Kiss, CEO of ABRI/HFTB (r.), and Shalini Madaras (l.), open the doors of The PFC Nicholas A. Madaras Home with Female Soldiers: Forgotten Heroes. Madaras has worked with Homes for the Brave for the past 4 years to raise money and build a transitional home dedicated to her son Nick Madaras, who was killed in Iraq in 2006. Ann Hermes/Staff
American Legion members tour the dining room in the Forgotten Heroes home in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Ann Hermes/Staff
Bill Madaras admires a quilt with his son's image, which was given to his family during the home's opening and ribbon cutting. Ann Hermes/Staff
The UN's refugee agency estimates that one in four Syrian refugee households in neighboring countries are headed by women, breaking with tradition in a patriarchal society.
ByEmma Gatten, Contributor
Before Syria's civil war began, Rabaa Ahmed was a housewife in Damascus taking care of three children and occasionally helping out with her husband’s cleaning-products business. Now she is among more than 145,000 Syrian refugee women thrust into the traditionally male role as head of household, providing food, shelter, and security for their families.