Jim Crigler grew up in South Eastern Missouri and had a dream that he would one day become the first generation college graduate in his family. This dream was put on hold after he was drafted into the Vietnam War. Crigler served as a warrant officer helicopter pilot with A Troop 7/17 Air Cavalry and the 129th Assault Helicopter Company, flying over 2,000 combat missions with some of the finest helicopter pilots in the world.
In 1972 Crigler was sent to deliver the body of one of his closest friends, Thomas Shaw, to his family back home in the United States. This was the first Gold Star Family that Crigler met. A “Gold Star Family” is a family that has lost a loved one in the United States military. Since meeting his first Gold Star Family, Crigler recognized that these families were not being paid the respect and honor that they deserve.
“Many thousands of these families have received not even a simple thank you for their great sacrifice”
Crigler was so moved by this issue that he decided that he was going to make a change and start a movement. Crigler wrote the book Mission of Honor and solo canoe paddled the entire length of the Mississippi River to raise awareness for the amazing Gold Star Families. Along his canoe journey, he personally met with Gold Star Families to tribute to them the honor of their sacrifice.
“We owe them honor. It does not have to be much, but it does have to be SOMETHING”
In addition to the awareness of Gold Star Families, Crigler is also working toward raising $2.5million for American Huey 369 and the construction of National American Huey History Museum.
Tradition Pass It On
Thomas Buslee of Tradition Mortgage is the son of late Vietnam Veteran Thomas Shaw. Thomas Shaw was delivered home by Jim Crigler, so this story and mission are very significant to Buslee and his family. Tradition Companies has raised an incredible $23,000 for Crigler’s mission.
What a truly remarkable story!
If you are interested in donating or want more information, visit https://www.missionofhonor.org
*Mission of Honor: Jim Crigler is part of Tradition Pass It On's Spotlight Series.
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