Little Miss Forget-Me-Not
All of the other children presenting tributes to America’s fallen warriors were dressed in white. But 8-year-old Cammie Truex wore a light-blue dress—its sweet pale color reminiscent of the forget-me-not flower.
Michael Neff, commander of DAV Chapter 81 in Ashland, Ohio, had approached Cammie and her mom, Kassandra Truex, about being DAV’s Forget-Me-Not representative in the Ashland Memorial Day parade. Cammie was an ideal ambassador for DAV because she knows a veteran whom she never wants to forget—her dad, Thomas Truex.
During his time in service, Truex struggled with depression, which worsened toward the end. Believing the lie that all hope was lost, he chose to end his own life. Kassandra and her three young children were able to receive emotional support through their local DAV chapter, their church and their community. They also obtained counseling to guide them through the grieving process.
“When Cammie was asked to be part of the parade as the Forget-Me-Not representative, she agreed in order to honor her dad’s memory,” said Cammie’s mom, Kassandra.
The morning of the parade, Cammie donned her blue dress but was a little nervous about what the day’s events would hold. Yet, her love for her father compelled her to participate in the commemoration.
Cammie climbed up into the DAV-designated convertible, her Little Miss Forget-Me-Not sash hugging her frame as she sat atop the car. She smiled and waved timidly to the crowd as she was driven through the streets of Ashland.
“Once they got to the Ashland Cemetery, each child laid their floral bouquets on the veterans memorial, honoring those who had served our country,” said Kassandra.
Though many beautiful flowers graced the memorial as each child presented their bouquet, it was Cammie’s blue dress that embodied the symbolic forget-me-not.
The Memorial Day parade has long ended, but her love for her dad—and her memories of him—continue on.
After reading Cammie’s story, one might ask, “How do we care for those who have lost a beloved veteran—their own Forget-Me-Not?”
Perhaps we could picture the most-affected survivors—the family members—much like the forget-me-not flower itself: a single central flower surrounded by additional blooms.
“The family members whose lives have been shaken by the sudden loss of a husband, wife, father, mother, son or daughter need to be surrounded by friends, neighbors and other veteran families,” said DAV National Adjutant and CEO Marc Burgess. “DAV provides families with community and assistance for their continued care after their loved one has passed.”
Will you join DAV in cultivating care for the families of our nation’s disabled veterans?
A monthly gift of $10, $25 or $50 can provide families such as Cammie’s with the help they need.