On Tuesday, Montana Governor Greg Gianforte visited Miles City and recognized four veterans with the 2021 Montana Governor's Veteran Commendation.

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Governor Gianforte had this to say:

No one better embodies our Montana values and commitment to service than our veterans, and it was my honor to recognize four outstanding veterans in Miles City. Through their commitment to service, JR, Tom, Ken, and Mark have made our nation safer and our communities stronger.

Governor Gianforte presented the awards to Sergeant Kenneth Bogner, Lynn M Clendenen Jr., Sidney B. "Tom" Reynolds Jr., and Mark Dale Teeters, all of Miles City.

Sergeant Ken Bogner

As a Marine, Bogner bravely served our nation during the Global War on Terrorism. Even after his military service, he kept the flame of service burning by helping others in the Miles City community. Bogner has helped mentor young Montanans as the Head Coach of the Miles City Babe Ruth and American Legion Baseball teams, and like many other veterans, continues to serve his brothers in arms in the veteran community as an active member of VFW Post 1579 and a Wreaths Across America volunteer.

Specialist Lynn M. “JR” Clendenen

While fighting for our country in Vietnam as member of the U.S. Army in the First Aviation Brigade, Clendenen served our nation and state with honor. Returning home, he began serving others in the veteran community. As a key member of VFW Post 1579 for “longer than most people can remember,” he’s been instrumental in the day-to-day operations of the post. He also proudly led the Honor Guard, representing his fellow veterans at funerals, parades, rodeos, and community events. Clendenen has also served the VA hospital for three decades.

Captain Sidney B. “Tom” Reynolds, Jr.

After enlisting in the Air Force in 1961, Reynolds served for four years, working on nuclear weapons during the Cold War. Reynolds then joined the Army, where he bravely served in Vietnam as commander of the Combat Engineers unit, known as “The Jungle Eaters.”

After 28 years of valorous military service, Reynolds taught young Montanans in the Miles City school system while serving in the Montana National Guard. Committed to honoring our proud veteran heritage, he organized a color guard and restored military jeeps for the Bucking Horse Sale parade. He also rebuilt a Civil War cannon and hauled it to the local high school’s home football games. For 22 years, Tom fired the cannon whenever the home team scored, creating a unique tradition that honored our nation’s veterans and united his community. Tom served as the VFW Post 1579’s commander, vice-commander, chaplain, and quartermaster. During his 16 years with the VFW, he participated in the VFW Honor Guard, eventually becoming the commander of the group. Tom also participated in the Flag Committee, flying 150 American flags in the community for state and federal holidays.

Specialist Mark Dale Teeters

As a soldier in the U.S. Army, Mark courageously defended our way of life overseas, including in Operation Iraqi Freedom. After his military service, Mark continued to answer the call to serve. Mark volunteered to serve as Junior Vice Commander of VFW Post 1579 to keep the post running and support his fellow veterans in the area. Mark has encouraged young Montanans to give their time in service to others, mentoring them as an AAU football coach and 4-H supporter. He helps them understand why we stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, and he regularly engages with Montanans considering enlistment.

If you have a special someone deserving of this Commendation, nominations open for the 2022 Montana Governor's Veteran Commendation in September. Thirty-one veterans received the award in 2021.

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