Gold Star Wives Day


April 5th is National Gold Star Wives Day and we had the honor of talking to Dr. Vivianne Cisneros Wersel.  As the President Emeritus and founder of the Arlington Chapter of the Gold Star Wives National Organization, Dr. Cisernos Wersel is a pioneer within the veterans community. The story of how she met her husband has a fairytale like quality. She was the “Colonel’s daughter that married the General’s Aid”. She met Lieutenant Colonel Richard “Rich” Wersel, Jr., USMC at the officer’s club in San Diego. He was the man sitting next to her and as a General’s Aid he was “already vetted so I could take him home.

At age 43 Lt. Col Wersel passed away at Camp LeJeune, NC. He died a week after he came home from his second tour of duty in Iraq. He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.  The Lt. Col married a strong independent woman and despite losing her life partner Dr. Wersel’s strength of character remained in tact.  Dr. Wersel drove home from Arlington on a Friday night and went to work on Monday. “This is what he would have wanted me to do.”

Being a member of the Gold Star Wives National Organization helps with handling life’s complexities. It provides a level of support when figuring out where to move, live, or to answer questions such as “how am I going to raise my son, teach my child to drive, when do I return to work?” These are questions many of us take for granted. Having the support of the GSW is essential in making the right decisions. “It’s different than talking to girlfriends no one understands a widow like another widow.”  It is also a place where wives can talk about their husbands without feelings sad or having someone pity you. It is a judgment free zone.


Dr. Cisneros Wersel works at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center as an Audiologist and continues to be a leader in the community. On April 5th  she placed a wreath with a fellow “widster” (widow sister) at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and attended a reception at the White House on behalf of Gold Star Wives Day.

Widsters For Life.