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Ronan veteran honored with congressional award

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Recognizing veterans is a way to remind people that the United States wouldn’t be the same without them.

“It’s such a great day to have so many folks turn out to honor Ron for his service to both country and community,” Montana U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte told an almost standing-room-only crowd during the Wednesday, April 17, ceremony in honor of Ronald “Ron” Merwin.

Approximately 100 veterans, friends and guests gathered at the Ronan VFW Post 5652 to watch their neighbor and friend receive the Montana Congressional Veteran Commendation award for his military and community service. 

In 2017, Gianforte initiated the Montana Congressional Veteran Commendation - a program to recognize outstanding Montana veterans who have honorably served both their country and communities.

 “As citizens of the United States, we have a debt we can never fully repay. The freedom we enjoy on a day-to-day basis is because of these men and women who have worn the uniform for this country,” said Gianforte. “This Veteran Commendation award is a way to truly honor everyone who has worn the uniform. I just want to say thank you for your service. We would not enjoy the freedoms we have if you hadn’t been willing to put your life on the line and go serve.”

Merwin is one of 19 Montana veteran recipients who had been recognized and honored in 2018 with the Montana Congressional Veteran Commendation. Congressman Gianforte read to the audience what he had read into the Congressional Record on Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018, honoring Merwin. 

“Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize Ronald Merwin of Ronan, a recipient of the 2018 Montana Congressional Veteran 

Commendation for his service to his country and leadership in his community. Mr. Merwin served 21 distinguished years in the United States Navy as a submarine specialist. A member of the silent service, Mr. Merwin was a valued shipmate and officer on conventional and nuclear submarine deployments during the height of the Cold War. He rose to the rank of Lieutenant Commander before his retirement in 1981. Mr. Merwin is actively involved in numerous veterans and civic organizations serving his community. As Commander of VFW Post 5652 in Ronan, Mr. Merwin was awarded the rare honor of being named a VFW All American Post Commander. He coordinates fund-raising events, youth programs, community celebrations and was a board member of the Ninepipes Museum of Early Montana for 15 years. I ask my colleagues to join me today in commending Ronald Merwin for his dedication and service.”

After reading the congressional statement, the Republican Congressman presented Merwin with a copy of the Congressional Record in a blue and gold embossed folder and an American flag that had flown above the United States Capitol in his honor.

“It’s a humbling experience,” said Merwin upon accepting the award. “It’s an honor, a great honor.” 

 

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