LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) - A Vietnam War veteran is making sure those who died while serving our country aren't forgotten.
Jim Crigler is canoeing the entire length of the Mississippi River to raise awareness for Gold Star families who saw their loved ones lose their lives overseas.
Crigler says he's been determined to make sure those families get the recognition they deserve ever since he served as the burial escort for his roommate who was killed in action.
"For most of them, the story is the same. They got a knock on the door with devastating news that their son was killed, and they got a coffin a week later, and they buried their son and never talked about it again because of the controversial nature of the war, and I don't think that's right," said Crigler. "I don't think that's the honor that these people deserve."
He says he hopes people contact their local VFW or American Legion to find a Gold Star family in their area and write them a letter to thank the family for their sacrifice.
"Less than one half of one percent of our country serves in the military today. That means 99.5% of us don't do much sacrificing for our rights," said Crigler. "So those people who give up sons and daughters today, they give a great sacrifice for the rest of us. We owe it to those people."
Crigler is also raising money for a charity that gives honorary helicopter rides for Gold Star families and veterans. If you'd like to donate to the cause, you can visit his website www.missionofhonor.org.
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