Vietnam vet to canoe entire Mississippi River for Gold Star families

Canoe trip to honor Gold Star families (NBC Photo)
Canoe trip to honor Gold Star families (NBC Photo)

LAKE CITY, Minn. (KTTC) — Vietnam veteran Jim Crigler met his first Gold Star Family 45 years ago when a fellow pilot, and his good friend, lost his life.

“I had the honor, and the burden, of escorting his body back to his family, 45 years ago this month,” Crigler says.

Since the Vietnam was such a poorly seen war in the public eye, he says many of those Gold Star Families didn’t get the recognition they deserved.

“So for 45 years these families have had to live with that grief, kind of, alone,” Crigler says.

Now he’s preparing to set off on a canoe trip down the Mississippi River to make sure people know their struggles.

“I want to start a movement to get normal American citizens to look up a Gold Star Family in your community, and to get a 49 cent stamp and an envelope, and a piece of paper, and write them a thank you note,” Crigler says.

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