I would imagine due to the truck's age is the reason they fell apart... the truck was built in late-2002 and this is its first brake job. I have only put on about 110,000 miles since it was new. I went ahead and installed new rotors and pads on all 4 corners following member Heymccall's brake advice.
I bought new parking brake shoes at Napa and they came with gear for both sides, so I went ahead and changed both sides out. Just for the record (and anyone searching the forum in the future): the parking brake shoes on a 2003 Silverado 2500/3500HD CAN be changed without removing the rear axle hub and seal. It is a bit of fiddling, but is most certainly faster and cheaper than changing axle seals that are still fine.
2003 Duramax/Allison Ext'ed Cab Short box - 94,000 miles, BLACK, 4x4, 285/75/16 BFG's on stock rims, LineX bedliner, cold-weather grille, cranked T-Bars, swiss-cheesed airbox, t-case fix, all-lights and high-idle mod, 2006-style leveled towing mirrors