Why Montana is the Most Patriotic State in America
Let me start with a little inside baseball for you on this story. While I was en route to our state capitol in Helena, I noticed how everyone was sharing this Fox News story about how Montana was named the most patriotic state in America.
My first reaction was that this would naturally be true. My other reaction when I saw the story was that it seemed like another one of those Wallethub clickbait stories. And it probably was.
Either way, I think it is worth throwing out a question. Ok, if Montana is the most patriotic state in America, why is that? Here's my best guess initial reaction: we have some of the highest rates of military veterans per capita in the country. Those who answered the call to serve obviously felt a calling to serve our country. But I also think those same veterans want to make sure that those patriotic values are instilled in the next generation.
Some more inside baseball for you here. I needed a good photograph for this photo. So I went to our Getty Images provider website and searched for "Montana" and "flag." Here are a few of the photos that popped up, which only reinforces the pro-military service, patriotic ethos in Montana.
By the way, in the first photo (featured above and below) I immediately recognized that Ranger-tabbed Infantryman from Jordan, Montana serving at the time with the Montana National Guard's A Co. 1-163.
What do you think? Why is Montana the most patriotic state in America?
ISKANDARIYA, IRAQ - JULY 16: Members of Montana's 163rd Alpha Company take pictures in front of an American flag as they prepare to depart Iraq at the conclusion of their tour on July 16, 2011 in Iskandariya, Babil Province Iraq. As the deadline for the departure of the remaining American forces in Iraq approaches, Iraqi politicians have agreed to meet in two weeks time in order to give a final decision about extending the U.S. troops' presence beyond the end of the 2011 deadline. Violence against foreign troops has recently picked-up with June being the worst month in combat-related deaths for the military in Iraq in more than two years. Currently about 46,000 U.S. soldiers remain in Iraq. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
CAMP VIPER, IRAQ - U.S. Marine Cpl. Chad Taylor talks to his mother and father in Montana while at Fleet Hospital 3 April 13, 2003 at Camp Viper in Iraq. Taylor was injured when two Russian-made rocket propelled grenades hit the amphibian assault vehicle he was driving. Taylor, attached to G Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines, said when the first RPG hit the vehicle, he was trapped inside and couldn't get out. When the second hit, it exploded and blew him out of the vehicle. (Photo by Jason Huffine/U.S. Marines/Getty Images)
RAMSTEIN AB, GERMANY - DECEMBER 14: In this handout photo, Brigadier General Erwin S. Lessel III, Commander, 86 AW, greets Montana Congressman, Denny Rehberg as he and other congressmen from various states meet and dine with airmen from their respective states at the Rheinland Inn chow hall December 14, 2003 at Ramstein AB, Germany. (Photo by Jonathan Pomeroy/U.S. Air Force via Getty Images)
LOOK: 100 years of American military history