later, on December 24, 1961. We were at Ft. Campbell,Kentucky for four years during which my three sons were born. My sons, Fabian, and twins Alphonso and Alonzoreside in Houston, Texas, including sixteen grandchildrenand two great-grands. Our last months together as familywere during Howard’s assignment at Ft. Sam Houston inSan Antonio, Texas where he received orders for Vietnam.In late summer of 1968, Howard boarded a bus out of Alexandria, Louisiana bound for his site of deployment.On February 19, 1969, about 9pm, two gentlemen inmilitary uniform delivered the dreadful message of their mission…My husband had been killed that day on activeduty in Vietnam…my world stood still. I was blessed tohave been with my parents at that time. I was advised thatHoward spent the initial months of his tour in Vietnamwith the 82nd Airborne Division and later transferredto Advisory duty. Howard was with a Mobile AdvisoryTeam aiming to repel a Viet Cong patrol when the teamwas caught up in a fatal ambush by the Viet Cong.On July 4, 2003, I was honored to meet one of Howard’scomrades and very good friend, Retired MSG MurphJack Marrow. Murph Marrow initiated and coordinatedthe erection of a SFC Howard Lee Early Memorialand subsequently a Memorial Dedication Ceremony inJonesville, Louisiana. For an awesome, detailed article ontheir relationship as Army comrades, please visit website:ourheritagemagazine.com/sfc-howard-lee-early/Shortly after Howard’s death, I received a letter informingme about Gold Star Wives. A few months later, I sentin application and attended my first GSW NationalConvention in 1972, in Columbus, Georgia. I shall never forget that convention, because it started a wonderfulhealing and bonding with caring and lasting friendships,including a memorable post-convention trip to theBahamas. I am grateful for the persistence of our memberswho worked diligently until Congress approved legislationin 2003, allowing survivors who remarried after age 57,to retain their Dependency and Indemnity Compensation
other GSW’s as well. Again I say, thank you.Each issue of concern within the organization may not pertain to all of us personally, but we must stand unitedin support of GSW legislation that impacts a fraction of us as well, because there is strength and louder voice innumbers. There are dire economic issues facing our nationat this time, and we should be more vigilant than ever
on the table and be persistent or they will be brushed asideand forgotten. Much of my appreciation and respect for the organization has come through my involvement and participation in the following segments: National Chair for Community Service; Denver Chapter Secretary;Denver Chapter Vice President; Denver Chapter President;coordinator of SW Region Conference in Denver, 2007;and President of Southwest Region, 2008-2009.I wish to thank President Emeritus Katherine “Kit” Frazer,for a job well done on behalf of Gold Star Wives. Thank you Kit, for mentoring and always encouraging me as Ianticipated serving in this honorable position and for allyou’ve done to make the transition as smooth as possible.I look forward to working with Vice President HarrietBoyden. I commend her as recipient of the SpecialRecognition Award. Harriet is a conscientious worker, andI plan to keep in close communication with her as Kit didso diligently with me.A huge thank you to Convention Chair, Jamie Tomek andmembers of the South Central Region for hosting our 66th National Convention, which was well-organized.Besides successful business meetings, we had informativeworkshops; a riverboat dinner cruise; entertainment byMissouri Master Storyteller Gladys Coggswell; beautifulmusic provided by pianist Steve Sanderson, and humorousremarks by Ruth Miller, GSW from San Antonio, Texas.
of Survivor’s Assistance for the Dept. of Veterans Affairs;Kevin Secor, VA Department Liaison for Veteran’s ServiceOrganizations.Special thanks to the following sponsors who supportedour convention and contributed to its success: TriWestHealthcare Alliance; Express Scripts; USAA; SpectrumHealthcare Resources; Delta Dental; Department of Veterans Affairs; Graphic Designer Jon Moran andPhotographer Shelley Anderson of Cage & Aquarium.St. Louis has taken on a new meaning with fond memoriesfor me as the site of my election to GSW National President.
President, Jeanette Early (Aurora, CO); Vice President,Harriet Boyden (Aiken SC); Secretary, Leta McNair (Phenix City, AL); Treasurer, Betty Crawford (Chandler,