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Lexington woman climbs to Gold Star tribute on Alaska mountain in honor of late husband

Published: Sep. 1, 2021 at 11:08 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) -Since losing her husband in 2004, Emily Chambers has always worked to keep his memory alive.

“My goal, and why it’s important for me to do this, is to just keep his name in the forefront, never let people forget his sacrifice for us,” Chambers said.

Just three months after getting married, Marine Corporal Nich Dieruf was killed in Iraq. Just recently, Emily, her now husband and two friends went to Alaska to climb Gold Star Peak. It’s a tribute set for families who lost a loved one to war.

“It’s been on our minds to go to Alaska an climb this mountain since 2019,” said Chambers. “Then of course COVID hit, and we weren’t able to make the trip until this month, and it was a dream.”

The climb had some challenges to get to the top. But the group knew it was nothing compared to what the men and women who serve our country face.

“The climb was broken down into three phases,” Chambers explained. “Each phase had its level of difficulty for one various reason or another. But it was easy to remember this was nothing. The shortness of breath, the sweat, the pain in your muscles...that’s nothing compared to the heartache of losing someone or the thought of what they went through when they were serving our country.”

The trip came at a poignant time as chaos was unfolding in Afghanistan and 13 service members were killed.

“The tragedy of what happened in Kabul, my heart just breaks for those families,” said Chambers. “For us to travel to Alaska while all of this is happening, seems so providential.”

Chambers encourages others in the community to get involved with honoring veterans. She says she works closely with USA Cares.

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