Staff Writer

Gold Star wives don’t have to wait for their day of recognition any longer.

Friday, April 5, is that day.

The Miami Valley chapter of the Gold Star Wives of America, made up of spouses of military service members who have died, has 38 members who can mark the day like Linda L. Petric. She lost her husband, John, a then 31-year-old Army major, who died in a mortar attack in Vietnam in 1967. He saved three other men before he died, she said.

“A lot of times the surviving spouses are sort of caught up and lost in the shuffle of everything,” she said Thursday after members of the chapter met with U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, R-Dayton, in downtown Dayton. “It means a lot that finally in Washington they listen to us.”

The U.S. Senate has officially recognized the day with the passage of a resolution introduced by Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C.

Petric said the recognition means a lot to the widows of fallen service members. “We have friends and a sisterhood that understand what we’ve been through and what our life has been like without our spouses,” she said.

The Gold Star Wives of America first met in April 5, 1945. The national organization gathered at a convention in Dayton last year attended by then Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton A. Schwartz.

Congressman Mike Turner meets with Miami Valley Gold Star Wives