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Carbon County towns display special veterans tribute

Veterans crosses.jpg
Posted at 10:35 PM, Nov 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-12 00:35:28-05

Roberts has honored veterans with crosses and dog tags for seven years, and it's something that has caught on in Joliet, Red Lodge and Fromberg for Veterans Day.

This unique way of honoring veterans who have died comes all the way from Duluth, Georgia.

"Every year I was really impressed when I would go through there, and they'd have crosses up," said Kyle McKinney of the Roberts Activities Committee.

McKinney brought the idea to Carbon County and it started at a Veterans Day celebration with the committee adding dog tags to honor living veterans.

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KTVQ photo

"We felt that we needed to thank and recognize our veterans that were still with us not when they were gone, but while they're still here," McKinney said. "So that's why we designed and created the dog tags. And the dog tags do go on either end, in respect of the crosses that they protect."

"I know almost all the names," said Steve Keebler of the Roberts Activities Committee. "And this is just one project that I'm very passionate about. I didn't serve in the armed forces. But to be able to celebrate our veterans and active duty people, it just overwhelms me every year."

Joliet then started with the crosses and dog tags in 2017.

"There was a young man that was working on his Eagle Scout project and now it is ag kids and the principal and a few of the residents," McKinney said.

And before you know it, Red Lodge made it three towns along Highway 212 joining the honoring in 2018.

"The hospital allowed us to do that, which was really nice because you can walk along the sidewalk and read all the names," said Sandy Conlee of the Red Lodge Rotary Club. "Driving down the highway seeing all the flags and crosses for deceased veterans, it's really heartfelt and we knew we had to do it."

"Just seems like even more appropriate for us because we do have so many people from our state who have served and served honorably," said Betty Hecker of the Red Lodge Rotary Club.

Finally last year, Fromberg put down the crosses and dog tags along Highway 310.

"It's a nice gesture for the county to see that many veterans," said Marvin Frank, a Fromberg resident.

"I'm so thankful that we have people like this that have given their life for that cause that we can live in this country," Keebler said.

"It really is heartwarming to see, you know other towns picking up now," McKinney said.