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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Oregon City Optimist Club member receives national honor

Judi Van Cleave (c) with Mrs. and
General Charles H. Jacoby
Judi Van Cleave, secretary, Oregon City Optimist Club was recently installed as the National Vice President for the Gold Star Wives of America.

She shared this picture with us of Mrs. and General Charles H. Jacoby that she had taken when she had the opportunity to introduce him to the delegation at the organization's 68th annual convention. She said she spent more than a half an hour getting to know them and they are lovely couple.

Organized in 1945, the Gold Star Wives of America represent widows and widowers whose spouses died while on active duty in the military services or connected cause. The group provides social activities and allows individuals experiencing similar tragedy to support to one another, but it also offers opportunities for advocacy at the national level. The Gold Star Wives of America lobby for benefits including insurance and education for surviving family members, among other things.

In a very humble way, Judi divulged that she had other duties to perform at the convention this year. She explained that at the banquet she made a special presentation to a GSW from the northwest who volunteers at Joint Base Lewis Mchord (JBLM). She explained this was a very special honor and not given every year, but she was making the presentation because she had been the last person to receive the honor.

Judi is a widow from the Korean War. She said this year's convention, held in Denver, had quite a few "newer widows" attend this year. Her summary: a sad fact of the times.

Congratulations, albeit late, on your service award, and your installation, Judi. And many thanks for your sacrifices.