Colorado Springs mom remembers husband, celebrates new family on Memorial Day

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DENVER -- Some 115,000 different stories fill Denver's Fort Logan National Cemetery.

One for each veteran or their spouse, solemnly laid to rest there.

Pick just one of those 115,000, like US Army Captain Dale Goetz, and you'll find a service member whose full story can hardly be told by a few words etched on a marble headstone.

"I'm just so thankful for him, and that i was able to share my life with this wonderful person," said his widow, Christy Goetz-Bixby.

It was almost three years ago that christy goetz lost her husband.  A Baptist minister, he'd volunteered to go to Afghanistan... and had only been there about two weeks when a roadside bomb detonated next to his vehicle, killing him and four others.  He wasn't your typical soldier.  He was the kind who carried a Bible instead of a gun.  An Army Chaplain.  Turns out, he would be the only Chaplain killed in combat since Vietnam.

In fact, he'd been on his way to conduct church services for soldiers at one of the most dangerous outposts in Afghanistan when he was killed.  It was his wife's job to deliver the news to their young boys.

"And I said 'Lord help me say what I have to say.'  And I looked at them, and I held them close and I said, 'Guys, where's the best place to be?'  And Caleb says, 'Home.'  And I'm thinking 'yeah,' and I said, 'Where's the best place to be, and home for us is heaven,' and he said, 'heaven,' and I said 'that's where daddy is.'"

When a bag showed up in the mail a few weeks later, it contained the Bible he had with him at the time of his death, some letters she'd sent, but he never got to open, and his wedding band.

That bent-up wedding ring was the only one Christy ever expected to share with a man.  But that's where story takes a turn.  Dale Goetz always told his wife, 'If something happens to me, you have to remarry.'

She was reluctant at first, but having a tough time trying to raise three young boys on her own, she starting praying for a man as good as Dale.  And she found one.  A guy named Jon, who had recently lost his wife to breast cancer.

"And things went really fast, and we got married 7 months ago," Christy said.

And so, through great loss, two broken families have found incredible gain.

"I now have 10 children, 7 boys and 3 girls, and I'm very blessed," she said.

A new Colorado Springs veterans charity called "Angels of America's Fallen" heard about Dale Goetz's death, and they've taken Christy's boys under their wing, paying for swimming lessons, and music classes, and other things for the boys.  They're doing the same for dozens of other children, too.  To learn more about Angels of America's fallen, check out their website here: http://www.aoafallen.org/

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