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HomeNewsMontana NewsGreat Falls Hosts Annual Ceremony at Montana Veterans Memorial

Great Falls Hosts Annual Ceremony at Montana Veterans Memorial

The Montana Veterans Memorial Association held its annual Memorial Day ceremony on Monday, featuring guest speakers Anthony and Janet Seahorn. Anthony, a Vietnam veteran deployed in 1968, returned home after 11 months with both physical and mental injuries from combat that still affect him today.

Anthony expressed the significance of military communities and veterans, sharing, “We always really appreciate military communities and the veteran presence, and what we’ve found in our experience, since we wrote the book, [is] people want to talk about our story. Our story oftentimes is their story.”

Janet Seahorn, Anthony’s wife, co-authored the book “Tears Of A Warrior,” which details her experiences as the spouse of a veteran living with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Janet highlighted the importance of supporting not just veterans but their families as well, stating, “It isn’t just the veterans who come back and serve, the families serve, and that is parents and spouses especially and children, and we forget the children. If that family, especially those that support the veterans, if they aren’t intact, if we don’t mentor to them and make sure that they are solid, it is going to increase the trauma and the dysfunction, which is not what people fought for.”

Their book reflects their journey with post-traumatic stress after Anthony’s return from combat. The Seahorns travel and share their story with veterans, first responders, and families, aiming to aid in their healing process. Their central message, “if we send them, then we must mend them,” was a key part of their presentation at the Memorial Day ceremony, where they encouraged the community to honor both those who never returned home and those who did but are living with PTSD.

Anthony emphasized the solemn nature of Memorial Day, noting, “Memorial Day is really in remembrance of and honoring those who never returned home. I mean, so many of our young Americans have not returned home. We were just in Normandy and all of the white crosses of the young Americans who died there during D-day, it pulls at your heartstrings. We have friends that are buried in Arlington, and to go there and see the thousands and thousands of headstones, you know, certainly gives you more of an appreciation than ever of the privilege and the freedoms that we have.”

The Seahorns’ story aims to provide encouragement to veterans and their families dealing with PTSD and support their healing journeys. Anthony remarked, “For those of us that have served in combat, even if you do return back home, your life is never the same again. You’ve experienced things that you had never experienced before. And when you’re talking life and death situations, I mean, that definitely changes and impacts who you are.”

Since its establishment in 2006, the Montana Veterans Memorial has honored over 7,400 Montana veterans with tiles, both living and deceased. Approximately 200 new tiles are added each year before Veterans Day and Memorial Day. The Montana Veterans Memorial is located at 1025 25th Street North in Great Falls.

By: Montana Newsroom staff

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