DEAR ABBY: Over the years, you have honored the men and women who have served our country in military service. As the widow of a military man, I want to express my gratitude. For the past two years, I have taken part in the ceremonies in Arlington Cemetery and at the Wall in Washington, D.C., and found them emotionally moving. Our country is free because young men and women in the service sacrificed their lives for their beloved America.
So often the "forgotten" ones are the wives and children left behind by the death of the military person. After World War II, four war widows felt the need to establish an organization called Gold Star Wives of America for widows whose husbands died on active duty, or who died as a result of disabilities incurred while on active duty. It was incorporated in the state of New York in December of 1945. The organization has worked to preserve and to institute government programs pertaining to the welfare of the widows and their children.
We need to reach the widows who have married again, and lost a second husband, with some good news. Their benefits can be reinstated by contacting their state director of veteran affairs.
Abby, will you be the bearer of these good tidings? It could be beneficial to thousands. -- FLORANCE B. HERBERT, NATIONAL PRESIDENT EMERITUS
DEAR FLORANCE: That's important news, and I am pleased to pass it along.
For further information, military widows may write: Gold Star Wives of America Inc., 5510 Columbia Pike, Suite 205, Arlington, VA 22204. Please enclose a long, stamped, self-addressed envelope. The organization also has a Web site: www.goldstarwives.org.