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Great Falls JROTC students honor POW/MIAs

Posted at 6:04 PM, Dec 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-10 09:23:23-05

GREAT FALLS — There’s a new bench in Great Falls designed to honor prisoners of war and military personnel missing in action.

JROTC cadets from both Great Falls public high schools dedicated the bench at the Montana Veterans Memorial on Wednesday.

The cadets used their participation in the annual Bataan Death March Memorial Hike in September to raise more than $3,000 to get the bench.

After the Battle of Bataan in World War II, an estimated 60,000 to 80,000 American and Filipino soldiers were forced by the Japanese to march more than 60 miles, and it became known as the Bataan Death March.

"I think it's a really big deal to have it out there for everyone to see and bring awareness to it,” said Cadet Captain Chance Gerbert.

"(I'm) proud of it, very proud of it. I come from a long line of military (in) my family,” said Cadet Airman First Class Braden Gerber.

Some of the cadets’ money was also used to purchase a bronze plaque for the park. The remaining money will be donated to the Montana Veterans Treatment Court.