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Monday, May 25, 2009

River Region observes Memorial Day

Several area groups observed Memorial Day, despite heavy rains.

In Wetumpka and Prattville this morning, about 200 people between the two ceremonies paused to honor fallen troops.

At the Montgomery VA Medical Center, Col. Kris Beasley, 42nd Air Base Wing commander, encouraged attendees -- mostly veterans -- to remember not just those who have fallen in Afghanistan and Iraq, but in all of American military history.

Montgomery's new American Legion post hosted an observance at the Capitol and was drenched by the end.

They recognized Orlean Wells, a Gold Star Mother, for her sacrifice. Her son, Warrant Officer Charles G. Wells, was killed in Iraq on March 30, 2005.

Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs Adm. Michael Mullen said today that nearly 5,000 troops have been killed in Afghanistan and Iraq since those campaigns began after 9/11.

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I grew up in the military. Mom was an Air Force nurse for a few years, dad was a navigator on B-52s, among other things. One grandfather served in World War II, uncle is retired Navy, other grandfather and great-uncle served in Korea and a cousin is currently serving in the Marine Corps. Currently, I'm the military reporter for the Great Falls Tribune in Montana. Previously, 


As a military kids, we moved all over. As an adult, I've traveled all over and moved for work. But now, I'm putting down roots in Montana with my boyfriend. We just bought a house and are slowly but surely making it our home. We have more land that we know what to do with at the moment. Now we're getting a garden started, tearing down walls and having loads of fun at what we call the Homestead.

In a part life, I did PR for the guy who built the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the National Mall, social media for the National Museum of Health and Medicine, before that, edited two military technology magazines for a publishing group in the DC area and before that, I was the military reporter (among other things) at the Montgomery Advertiser, covering Maxwell Air Force Base, the Alabama National Guard, veterans and anything else military related in the area. And in between all of that, I leave town, preferably the country, whenever possible. It all started when I spent a semester in New Zealand.

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