Bozeman Chronicle Guest Column

April 1, 2023

Veterans still serving their community everyday

Rick Gale, Guest Columnist

Veterans are still serving their country in communities throughout southwest Montana by meeting the needs of veterans and military families, mentoring youth, and sponsoring wholesome programs.

As a member of the Veterans Alliance, allow me to highlight what our veterans are doing and making a difference.

Veterans participated in the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign that makes a year-round impact in our community through social services assistance, homeless shelters, and disaster relief.

Veterans delivered clothing and blankets to the Human Resource Development Council Warming Center in Bozeman.

Veterans participated and supported Hope & The Holidays to provide gifts, food, and support to families in and around Bozeman and the Gallatin Valley, during the holiday season, and all year long.

Veterans who are members of American Legion Post #14 hosted the Department of Montana Finals of the Legion Oratorical Contest in Bozeman. This contest exists to develop deeper knowledge and appreciation for the U.S. Constitution among high school students.

Veterans are providing peer-to-peer support, resources, and education about the American Legion’s “Be the One Campaign” to reduce the rate of veteran suicide.

Veterans are serving as advocates at Veterans Eligible Treatment Services Court, Gallatin County Criminal Justice Council, and Gallatin County Mental Health Local Advisory Council.

Veterans are placing white crosses beside the road in the location of a fatality as a SAFETY reminder for passing motorists of the dangers of the road, as well as the lives that have been lost on these highways. Since the 1950s, members of the American Legion have marked fatal traffic accident sites with the White Cross Highway Fatality Marker Program.

And there is the American Legion Post #14 sponsorship of Bozeman Bucks and Youth Baseball. This program gives back to the community by bringing teams and their families and fans from across the state and region to Bozeman.

There is something special about those who made the choice to serve their country in uniform and the veterans who are still serving as volunteers in communities in every corner of the nation and inspiring those around them to do the same.