The Sister Soldier Project was started by Myraline Morris Whitaker in California in 2007.
Whitaker heard how challenging it can be for women of color serving in the armed forces to keep their hair according to military standards during wartime. The Sister Soldier Project is a national project.
Volunteers across the country often gather to pack care packages for female soldiers stationed in Afghanistan, Kuwait and Iraq who are required according to military standards must keep their hair pulled back and tucked under.
Some of the areas where they're located are remote to the point that it's difficult for female soldiers to get hair products to help them take care of their hair properly.
How To Hairstyles
Woman of color can wear their hair short. Or if they prefer to keep it long they can wear it chemically relaxed or straightened, natural (without chemicals) or in locks or braids which can be pulled back and wrapped up on the head.
Regardless of whether African American military women select a short hairstyle, a chemically altered hairstyle, braids, locks or wearing their hair long, the the humid and dry conditions in many of the war areas often cause damage and other challenges to African American hair.
Dealing With Humidity
Humidity is a big thing. It can cause black hair to poof out and many any desired hairstyle challenging to style, maintain and manage. Whitaker has told the media the black female shoulders are not "trying to be beauty queens, they're just trying to pull their hair back and tucked under," which is what the military requires of their female shoulders.
Sending Much Needed Hairstyling Products
The Sister Soldier Project solicits gifts of appropriate hair care products from companies which specialize in ethnic hair care. They also include magazines, toiletries and a number of ethnic hair care products donated by Lusters Products.
"We want to give back to all those woman that are helping us to be free," said First Lady Johnson. President Johnson says, "he is not surprised" by the number of students who showed up to volunteer their time for U.S. soldiers in need.
Since the program began, the Sister Soldier Project has helped 2,500 soldiers. During 2010 the project pledged to send more than 1,300 care packages to soldiers at war.
In September 2009, the Black Congressional Caucus presented the Sister Soldier Project with the "Veteran Braintrust Award" for service and dedication to and in support of United States Armed Forces.
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