Rachel Witte

Women veterans find peace in Alameda community group

When former Staff Sergeant Starlyn Lara joined the Army fresh out of high school in Roswell, New Mexico, it was a time of peace for those who were serving in the military. Then came September 11. Suddenly, for many who joined the armed forces in search of serving their country—what Lara calls a desire to “be a bigger person than I was”—that peacetime was no more. “I sat there for about an hour, just dazed and confused, in awe of…

Homes in Need: A look at foster care in the East Bay

Every holiday season Nancy DeWeese and her husband, Gary, host a Christmas party. But it’s not your average family gathering, because this is not your average family. At these parties, three dozen children from all walks of life, including the couple’s four biological kids, gather to share in a common experience: Each child has spent part of their lives growing up at the DeWeese family home in Moraga. “They see each other and they’re like, ‘Oh, we started out as…