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Veterans Corner

By Mike Lawson

Greetings to those of you who read my SW MT Veteran’s articles. On this Thursday evening, I’m sitting in my hunting trailer at Hunting Camp. We have hunted in this country, located about 8 miles from where the west fork of the Madison River meets the Madison River (30 miles south of Ennis, Mt.), for over 40 years. Our Camp membership has changed over the years with many of the original members having passed away to the “Happy Hunting Ground” above. Some of the members now are the grandkids of those original members. To see this pass from one generation to the next is a very special tradition.

Today was busy getting here and starting the camp set-up duties. More members will arrive, and the finishing camp touch-ups will take place, as well as making plans of action for the first day of hunting on Saturday. The comradery among all of us is fun as some of us haven’t seen each other since last hunting season. Hopefully we’ll be successful and put meat in our freezers when it’s all over. The weather is predicted to get colder with a fair amount of snow down to the lower elevations on Tuesday and Wednesday. It’s to be expected in our part of SW Mt. and the snow sports folks are overjoyed, I’m sure.

Veteran’s news updates:

• The Marine Toys for Tots kickoff on Wednesday was well attended, with pizza and salad donated by Mackenzie River Pizza. The people who attended were from many facets of our communities and are appreciated for what they do to get needy children toys for Christmas. This is our Butte Marine Corps League Detachment #724’s biggest event of the year and with the help/efforts from the folks in Butte, Dillon, Twin Bridges/Ruby Valley, Harrison, and Whitehall, it is amazing. These communities can be proud, because they are helping the kids and that’s what it’s all about and has been for 75 years. Many establishments in our communities have generously allowed us to put Toy Collection Boxes and TFT Money Collection Boxes in their places of business. Any toys or money you would like to donate for the kids, please drop your donations in one of these boxes. Anything is appreciated.

• Again, a reminder that no-cost flu shots are now available to eligible Veterans at your local VA medical center, in-network community pharmacies or urgent care locations. Keep you and your loved ones safe.

• I mentioned before the importance of support for the caregivers of our veterans who need that care. Many times, it is a wife or family member, and it can seem to be overwhelming. The VA Caregiver Support Mentoring program is there for those of you who are caregivers for your loved veteran. Some of the benefits of getting connected are: Decreased loneliness and isolation. Improved access to support and resources for caregivers. Enhanced connection for participants in remote or rural communities. Believe me when I say that the veteran world appreciates what you caregivers are doing for our veterans. Go to and get some caregivers guidance in your journey of caring for your veteran.

It’s now Sunday at our Hunting Camp on the West Fork of the Madison River. The weather has been warm, and we haven’t seen but a couple of elk. One of our guys did get a nice two point mule buck and another shot a nice calf elk. We still have 4 days before we break camp, so I’m optimistic we’ll get more game for the freezer before then. There’s a special place on the north side of the Centennial Valley that looks at the shimmering Red Rock Lakes, a haven for the Trumpeter Swans, and the beautiful Centennial Mountains on the south-side of the valley. This special place was one of the most favorite places in the world for my Dad. When he died in 2001, we spread some of his ashes there. Upon my brother’s passing in 2008, we also spread some of my brother’s ashes there. Today my nephew brought some of his son’s, who died recently at birth, ashes to join with his great grandfather and great uncle’s ashes. It was a heartfelt time and a memory that will live on into the future. I felt privileged to have been part of it.

Until next time, take care.

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