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If you're driving down the road, and see the stars and stripes rolling down the train tracks, give it another look. Also plastered on the side of the Montana Rail Link is the words "Thank You Veterans."

I first spotted this story at the Trains magazine website and followed up with Ross Lane, the spokesman for Montana Rail Link.

Ross Lane tells me that Montana Rail Link has around 200 employees who are veterans, and wanted to not only honor veterans this Veterans Day, but also plans to honor essential workers in the days ahead.

According to a forthcoming press release from Montana Rail Link:

In the coming weeks, MRL will unveil a second locomotive thanking all essential workers for their many contributions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Both locomotives serve as symbols of our appreciation for veterans and essential workers for their loyalty and dedication to this country.

Where can you spot the locomotive? The intended route will be between Billings, Montana and Sandpoint, Idaho.

$50,000 will also be donated to Warriors and Quiet Waters by the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation, in conjunction with Montana Rail Link. Another $50,000 will also be given to Montana No Kid Hungry.

A big salute to Montana Rail Link for supporting our veterans and our essential workers:

MRL President Derek Ollmann: Essential workers have played a critical role in keeping our communities healthy and safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. All essential workers including railroaders, first responders, health care workers, janitorial staff, grocery store clerks and truck drivers have served all of us with dedication and sacrifice.

LOOK: 100 years of American military history

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