UPDATE: Vietnam chopper pilot rows river, will visit Monticello VFW Sunday afternoon

Jim Crigler is on a mission. He has embarked on a solo canoe trip down the full length of the Mississippi River, stopping at 29 cities and towns along the way, to meet with Gold Star families and veterans, presenting them with a symbolic gold coin.

Jim Crigler arrived Sunday afternoon in Monticello at Montissippi Park. He’s pictured navigating the river current shortly before coming ashore at the park’s boat landing. (Photo by Tim Hennagir)

Crigler arrived this afternoon in Monticello at Montissippi Park shortly around 12:30 p.m. after leaving from St. Cloud.

He plans on staying in Monticello Sunday and is scheduled to appear at the Monticello VFW at approximately 5:30 p.m. Crigler is raising money for American Huey 369, a charitable organization that gives helicopter flights to veterans and their families.

Coinciding with his trip, Crigler’s book, “Mission of Honor: A Moral Compass for a Moral Dilemma” (Panoma Press Ltd) was released April 22. Crigler will have a limited number of the books with him for purchase at the Monticello VFW Sunday afternoon.

Mission of Honor is an introspective autobiography of life during and after the Vietnam War.

As a UH-1 helicopter pilot flying in the jungle highlands of South Vietnam, Warrant Officer Jim Crigler and the men he flew with were tested daily.

When Crigler returned from Vietnam after his 12-month tour of duty, he did his best to put the war behind him and make a life for himself and his family, and now he is on a “mission of honor” to do the same for other military families. See this week’s Monticello Times for a recap of Crigler’s visit.