This is an great question and so many things can be stated. So, I will only list a few. First, perhaps most importantly many American women were left without husbands. This loss affected women greatly - family income abilities, single parents (at times), emotional pains, and the like. Second, during the war, the women were empowered to help the war effort by conserving at home and even working in factories to produce more military equipment. Third, taste for work, coupled with the lack of men in America created a women work force after the war. This eventually lead women to seek better jobs with more benefits. From this perspective, gender roles were changing and have changed over time.
I know it was hard on my great-grandmother (she is still living). She was widowed with three young kids, around the ages of 6,4, and 2. I think one of the hardest parts for her was the fact that the war was only two weeks from ending when he was killed.