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'Saluting Branches' hosts annual event at Montana VA Cemetery

Posted at 5:38 PM, Sep 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-29 10:17:35-04

HELENA — On Wednesday, September 28, 2022, bright and early at 8 a.m., volunteers got together and grabbed their tools for the Saluting Branches event at Montana State Veterans Cemetery.

Saluting Branches has been preserving veteran cemeteries for eight years to honor those who have sacrificed so much.

Over the eight years of volunteer work, they have helped preserve 78 veteran sites in 40 states.

Arborist Tom Molitor says it the initial event was started by a private tree company in 2015 that had an idea and caught traction.

“Rainbow Tree Care wanted to find a way to give back to the troops that paid the ultimate price, so that’s why they started this program,” said Molitor.

More than 40 volunteers showed up on the 138-acre Helena site for this year’s event.

Veterans like Jonathan Wishinski wanted to give back to those who devoted their lives to protecting our nation.

“This event means a lot to me as a veteran, it’s really good that the tree guys come together as a team to help out the armed forces and support them, and it’s really good to give back to them and we will do as much as we can,” said Wishinski.

Saluting Branches have donated more than $100,000 in tree services to veteran cemeteries since the start of their program.

The next annual event of Saluting Branches event will be held sometime in September of 2023.