MISSOULA — Memorial Day weekend kicks off the summer season for the Rocky Mountain Museum of Military History at Fort Missoula.
On Sunday, the museum showcased a walking tour to honor the veterans of Montana's past and present.
“It's so very special for me because of, well, because of the military connection but all my family members, I'm from Missoula originally. I'm a Missoula native, Montana native," Linda Johnson told MTN News. She served in the Army from 1973 to 1996.
On Sunday, veterans like Johnson were honored with a walking tour, “Officers Call of Fort Missoula,” at the Rocky Mountain Museum of Military History.
The talk featured the experiences of several prominent military veterans with ties to Montana including General Johnson, who is Linda Johnson's father.
“I was always proud to follow in his footsteps and it's something I always wanted to do growing up,” Johnson said of joining the military.
General Johnson was first stationed at Fort Missoula in the 1930s. On Sunday, his story was highlighted to attendees and is permanently on display at the museum.
“It just means a lot to me, from the bottom of my heart,” Johnson said.
The military museum hosts an event each Memorial Day to appreciate vets. Its displays feature various historical icons like an authentic canon from the Civil War and a replica of the USS Missoula, which saw service in the Navy during World War II.
“Usually we try to do a presentation of certificates of appreciation to veterans on Memorial Day weekend," Tate Jones, Executive Director of the museum, explained. "Since we're just coming out of COVID, we decided it was easier to do an outdoor walk today looking at the number of officers who served at Fort Missoula over the years.”
Jones said the museum showcases 150 years of military history at Fort Missoula, and events will continue through the summer.
“We will be doing a number of outdoor talks and presentations throughout the warm weather months,” he said.
The Rocky Mountain Museum of Military History's summer hours start June 1. Seven days a week it's open from noon to 5 p.m.
Certificates of Appreciation are presented to veterans living or deceased based on inquiry year-round.