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Each week, veterans are buried at Western Montana State Veterans Cemetery and other cemeteries around Montana and the United States. More than 3,000 veterans are dying per week of old age and illness as well as other reasons. Consequently, there is a great need for honor and color guard members to perform this final act of respect to that veteran who has served with honor to our nation. These honors provide great comfort to the families left behind.

Not only do these honor and color guard units perform duties at weekly funerals but they also are the ones that you see at Memorial Day, Flag Day, Never Forget September 11, Veterans Day and other significant services throughout the year.

In Missoula, the American Legion Post 27 Color Guard carries the flags and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 209 Honor Guard does the three volley shooting. Both need veterans to volunteer to join their ranks. Members don’t have to do all the funerals and services and can pick the ones to attend, which is why these units need many members. Up to 10 a week funerals take place in Missoula alone. Additionally, individual veterans play taps and active-duty military present a folded flag to relatives.

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Any veteran wishing to join these dedicated veteran units are encouraged to do so today. If they don’t know who to call they can always text or email me at 719-661-4037 or bluemountain@montana.com, and I’ll put them in touch with the right unit around the state. A veteran can be young or old. We need them all.

Funerals take place everywhere, not just in Missoula, and wherever there is a veteran that received an honorable discharge, honor and color guards with a folded American flag are there to render final honors to them. I personally appreciate their service to fellow veterans and their families each time I attend a military funeral, which is often.

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Susan Reneau of Missoula is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. 

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