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Montana Veterans Memorial hosts annual ceremony in Great Falls

Posted at 5:17 PM, May 27, 2024

The Montana Veterans Memorial Association hosted its annual Memorial Day ceremony on Monday with guest speakers Anthony and Janet Seahorn.

Anthony was deployed to Vietnam in 1968 and returned home 11 months later with mental and physical wounds from combat that he is still living with today.

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

Anthony’s wife Janet co-authored the book "Tears Of A Warrior" from her perspective as a wife who has lived 50 years with a veteran who lives with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Anthony and Janet Seahorn
Anthony and Janet Seahorn

“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,” Janet explained. “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.”

The book is their experience of living with post-traumatic stress after returning home from combat. They travel and share their story with veterans, first responders, and families, hoping to make a difference in their healing process.

With their overall message being “if we send them, then we must mend them,” Anthony and Janet shared part of their story during the Memorial Day ceremony, encouraging the community to honor and remember those who never returned home and those who did and are living with PTS.

“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,” Anthony said. “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.”

Montana Veterans Memorial
Montana Veterans Memorial in Great Falls

Their story is meant to encourage veterans and their families who are also living with PTSD and to support their healing journey.

“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.”

For more on their story, click here to visit the website.

Since it opened in 2006, the Montana Veterans Memorial has placed more than 7,400 tiles honoring Montana veterans, both living and deceased. About 200 new tiles are added every year before Veterans Day and Memorial Day.

The Montana Veterans Memorial is at 1025 25th Street North in Great Falls.

For more information, or if you would like to honor a veteran, click here to visit the website, or call 406-454-9070.