Roses for Remembrance

Those to whom I give thanks today.

As much as we might feel alone in the aftermath of tragic life events, there are many surrounding who have open hearts.


The veterans of Alpha Company of the 2/22 Infantry Division found me by posting their words of tribute and thanks to my husband, Capt. David R. Crocker, Jr., on the virtual Vietnam Memorial wall. My reunions with them since 2006 have provided a consistent strengthening of my spirit with their stories, communications, love and support. Without them I would not have had the courage to visit the  Memorial Wall at a reunion in Washington, DC in 2008. Without them I would never have heard the stories of what a great leader Dave was until his death in Vietnam in 1969.

To those people who wonder if there is a benefit to being in contact with old comrades, please don’t hesitate. Take the chance. It may feel uncomfortable, even painful, to imagine meeting people from that difficult time which many have tried to forget, but what you will find is joy; pure joy. Living through the experience of war, losing friends in front of your eyes, needs to be shared. Find your old friends from far away and embrace them. They want to provide support and comfort. Visit and to get started and reconnect.

The members of the Gold Star Wives (GSW) have battled since their formation in 1947, with the support of Eleanor Roosevelt, to assure that spouses and family members of veterans are not forgotten. They have fought for pensions, health insurance, education benefits, acknowledgment of the costs of war such as the long-term impact of chemical exposure, psychological effects, handicaps and ultimately the recognition that someone they loved made a supreme sacrifice.  The many chapters of GSW across the country and the world carry out numerous volunteer efforts to keep the legacy of the sacrifices of military service alive. To learn about the Gold Star Wives, visit


Dave in Vietnam, 1969

PeaceTreesVietnam is that rare and extraordinary response to the tragedy of war that makes us believe humans might have a chance to survive on our planet. Since 1995 they have been working with Vietnamese people in the Guang Tri Province of Vietnam (a small area that received more bombs during the Vietnam War than all of Europe in WWII) to find and destroy unexploded ordinance before innocent people are accidently killed or maimed. When the mines are removed, they plant indigenous trees. They also  provide mine risk education, survivor assistance, citizen diplomacy trips, and a range of other supportive activities. Visit them at

These three organizations, among many others, are examples of a response to the needs created by war. War has long tentacles that are difficult to disentangle from the victims and the victors. People may become healed after war but not cured from its effects. Supporting and comforting each other, providing education and resources, and giving back through humanitarian projects are among the ways that recovery and cure becomes possible.

Blessings to you all on this Thanksgiving, 2012