Grateful Nation Montana (GNM) is proud to announce the unveiling of the Grateful Nation Montana Fallen Soldier Memorial Nov. 4 on UofM’s main campus.
The five larger-than-life bronze statues, crafted by Montana native Rick Rowley, will honor the sacrifice of our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan and serve as a symbol of hope and patriotism for future generations.
GNM president David Bell commented, “We created a memorial that will serve as a source of pride for our state, pay tribute to our Montana soldiers who have given their lives for our country, and underscore the GNM commitment to give the children of our fallen soldiers the tutoring, mentoring and academic tools necessary to succeed in life. I look forward to the unveiling and hope veterans and friends from around the state will come join us at The University of Montana in Missoula on Nov. 4.”
The GNM Fallen Soldier Memorial unveiling will take place on Nov. 4 at 5 p.m. and will be followed by a first-ever reunion for all UofM veterans who have served in any branch of the Armed Services.
The next day the UM Griz Military Appreciation Football Game and other veteran-related events will take place. Together they will form the largest weekend-long tribute to our military in Montana history.
Grateful Nation Montana, Inc. (GNM) is a private not-for-profit organization based in Conrad. GNM has partnered with the Montana University System (MUS) in a first-of-its-kind-in-the-country approach that provides tutoring, mentoring and a full college scholarship to the children of Montana soldiers who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Montana has lost more soldiers per capita than any other state.
Only about 10 percent of U.S. soldiers currently deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan have a bachelor’s degree, and only four percent of all enlisted soldiers have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher.
Whether a parent attended college is a significant predictor of their children’s enrollment. The low college attendance by our infantry troops most likely to be killed in the line of duty, and the reality of a single parent left to deal with the financial and socioeconomic issues of raising a child alone, create a bitter irony.
When an American soldier pays the ultimate price for our country, the soldier’s children face an uphill battle to realize the American dream. GNM reverses this trajectory through early intervention and support.
Bell, a 1996 UofM graduate, co-founded Grateful Nation as a way to give back to fallen soldiers and their families. Bell and his wife Brittany, also a UofM graduate, established GNM in 2007 and have administered GNM-related events around the state.
Grateful Nation Montana is neither political nor partisan and has received enthusiastic bipartisan support from elected officials throughout Montana, Washington, D.C. and around the country.
GNM’s unique approach to a public/private partnership for the benefit of the children of America’s fallen has attracted national attention. GNM has been featured on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, Fox & Friends and other print and media outlets.
Grateful Nation is currently conducting a fundraising campaign to underwrite current and future scholarships and outreach. A full description of Grateful Nation Montana’s mission and activities can be found on the organization’s website, www.GratefulNationMontana.com.