by Keagan Elder
VAL Dexter is on the verge of tears every time she speaks of her late husband Steve.
The Coffs Harbour widow remembers fondly her late husband who was a Tobruk veteran and died two days before Anzac Day in 2007.
"He was a very strong man,” Val said, before adding that the harsh reality of war had taken a toll on her husband.
Val said Steve hadn't talked much about his time in northern Africa during the Second World War but she said the impact was evident years later.
Val said Steve was a gentleman and declared she adored him for the five years they were married.
"I never cooked a meal he didn't say thank you for,” she said.
In remembrance of her late husband, Val has supplied a poem penned by Steve.
Friends Who I Met on the Way
They were noble those blokes
With their fear and their jokes
And they helped when the world seemed so grey
They've lent me a hand
In the dust and the sand
And in wars deadly strife
When you fear for your life
You thank God
For those friends on the way.
Thank you mates for your cheer
It's the knowing you're near
That helps a man through a bad day
And I hope that the fates
Have been blind to seek mates
Noble friends who I met on the way.
- Steve Dexter