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Jim Crigler Biography

Jim Crigler is a 67 year old business owner that lives a quiet life in Winona, MN. However, in 1971 and 1972 Jim was a Warrant Officer UH-1 Huey pilot flying in the Central Highlands of Vietnam.

His only R & R during his 12-month tour of duty was as a burial escort officer returning the remains of his friend and roommate, 1LT Thomas Shaw, back to his family in Fond Du Lac, WI.

Jim came back from Vietnam and left the Army when his contract was complete. He did his best to put the war behind him and make a life for himself and his family.

Over the last 5 or 6 years he has had the opportunity to meet hundreds of Gold Star Vietnam families. He was shocked to find that most had never been truly honored for their sacrifice to our country.

For many, the war was just too controversial. They simply did not talk about their loss of loved ones. For most it was suffering their grief alone. Very few have even had a simple “thank you” from an ordinary citizen.

So Jim decided to do something about it.


Padding the Mississippi to talk to America. I will spread the word at every town that I stop at and ask that we thank these wonderful Americans. And I will personally thank each Gold Star Family member that I meet along the way.

This is my personal Mission of Honor.

Mission of Honor by Jim Crigler

The Book

I have written a book called “Mission of Honor” to help people understand the complexities of the Vietnam War and the sacrifices that these families have endured. It also has a message for America.


I am raising money for a 501-3c charitable organization called American Huey 369.

This group flies Vietnam era UH-1 Huey Helicopters around the country and participates in Veteran events. During these events Huey 369 will honor our Veterans and Gold Star Families with special honor flights.

You can see an example of these special flights here.

Wisconsin Public Television Story

Organizational Mission of American Huey 369