While the COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the importance of the essential workers on the front lines of the coronavirus battle, we must never forget the sacrifices made by the men and women in uniform who fought and died for us on a different kind of battlefield.
Monday is Memorial Day, a solemn day of remembrance for those who died while serving in the military. It is also a time to honor our nation’s many military veterans and active service members who are still with us, many of whom are silently suffering from the invisible wounds of war.
Montana is home to about 87,000 veterans, which is over 10% of the state’s adult population. More than 6,000 of those veterans live right here in Lewis and Clark County, and every one of them has a unique story to tell.
For the second year in a row, the Independent Record is publishing a series of stories highlighting one of our community’s veterans each week for 25 weeks. You can find the first half-page story in the printed newspaper and at helenair.com today, and beginning next week we will continue publishing these “Stories of Honor” each Monday until Veterans Day.
While we already know of many local veterans with fascinating stories to share, the community is welcome to email any suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration. Please be sure to include the veteran’s name and contact information.
The current pandemic may be able to take our livelihoods, our health, and even the lives of some of our friends and family members. The virus has also led to some temporary restrictions on our civil liberties, but it cannot eliminate the freedoms our country’s service members have selflessly fought to protect.
We hope this series will help illustrate just how much these brave men and women sacrificed for us and show the veterans in our area that they have not gone unnoticed or unappreciated.
Thank you for your service.
This is the opinion of the Independent Record editorial board.
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