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Veteran Military Families Strategy Paper

SERVING THOSE

Who serve our country

For over 100 years, Montana has had the distinction of being home to one of the largest per capita veteran populations in our proud country. Be it measured by the state’s entire citizenry or those strictly 18-years of age or older, the state of Montana is #2 per capita in its military veteran population. This heritage originated during World War I, when – per capita – more Montanans served in military service than any other state. According to the U.S. Census data, there were approximately 6,150 native American Veterans, comprising 14.8 percent of the statewide population aged 18 and older. This unique status reflects the pronounced and enduring nature of the Montanan sense of patriotism, honor, and selfless service; and this sentiment is formally recorded in our Montana Constitution (Article II, Section 35):

“Servicemen, servicewomen, and veterans. ​ The people declare that Montana servicemen, servicewomen, and veterans may be given special considerationsdetermined by the legislature.”

Currently, more than 4,000 Montanans serve on military active duty somewherenthroughout the world. This is in addition to the thousands​ of Montana Guard and Reserve Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors and Marines who have been activated to serve in our nation’s defense and who then return to their Guard/Reserve home units where they continue to serve our state and communities. “Special considerations” ​ for our military and veteran Montanans is ever evolving, and our state laws, programs, and provisions that support them must alsoevolve – impactfully, efficiently, and coherently. .

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