Sen. Tester honors late Missoula WWII veteran

by Eric Clements

MISSOULA – Montana Senator Jon Tester has made it his mission to promote veterans rights, saying that the brave men and women who fight to protect this nation are often overlooked.

He demonstrated his continued support of our troops on Wednesday evening, presenting a pair of prestigious awards to the family of a World War II veteran in Missoula.

WWII ended seven decades ago and for many, 70 years is an entire lifetime. Many members of the Greatest Generation never got the recognition they
deserved, but in Missoula that’s changing as the life of one brave soldier is remembered and celebrated.

Jim Marshall enlisted in the U.S. Air Force right out of high school. He and some friends went and tried to enlist earlier, and they wrote each one of them a letter and said ‘go back and finish school and then come back and talk to us.

“Jim was shot in the leg while fighting in Germany near the border of Czechoslovakia on April 25 of 1945. Jim described the shot to his leg like being hit with a sledge hammer. And it is my honor to recognize James Joseph Marshall’s bravery with the Bronze Star,” Sen. Tester said.

“He does a lot for the veterans, too, Jon Tester does. Jim would have enjoyed every minute because he has a lot of really, really good friends here, and then probably very humbled by it. He loved his family, he loved his kids and his grand kids… and he loved me,” his wife Ruth recalled. “I was fortunate to meet him and live with him for 67 years.”

Marshall may be gone, but here he is certainly not forgotten. Marshall’s children say that he didn’t like to talk about his time in the military and that he would have rather spent his time photographing eagles.