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My writing project - a book on World War II hero Jim Muri and his upbringing

See the description here.

When I heard the news of Jim Muri’s passing on NPR last month, I remarked to my wife how pleased I was to know that someone from Eastern Montana, specifically Miles City, accomplished something so noteworthy. The story resonated with me for several reasons:

  • My father was also a member of “The Greatest Generation,” a World War II vet who served in the Army as part of the occupation of Germany in 1946, and we just said goodbye to Dad at his passing last April.
  • I, too, have roots in Miles City, having lived there from when I started the sixth grade until my junior year in high school, when our family moved to Billings
  • The Muri name immediately struck a chord because, while in Miles City, I attended school with several of Jim’s nieces and nephews

As I excitedly mentioned all this to my supportive wife, she immediately said, “You need to write a book.”

So, here we are. This weekend, I’m heading to Miles City to talk to members of Jim’s family, including both some of his surviving siblings and a niece who is a former Custer County High School classmate, as his her husband. I plan to visit the Miles City library where I’ll browse back issues of the Miles City Star (which I delivered for several years until my family moved) for contemporaneous mention of Muri’s feat.

And if time allows, I’ll swing by CCHS to thumb through copies of the Branding Iron, the school yearbook. Muri, although born in neighboring Rosebud County, graduated from CCHS in 1936 and then enlisted in the fledgling Army Air Corps (today’s Air Force).

I’ve also had a couple of pleasant phone conversations with Sylvia Saadati, Jim Muri’s daughter and one of his two children, who lives in Tennessee. And I plan to contact Jim’s son, also named Jim, who likewise lives out of state.

Looking forward to a fun writing project!







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Jamie Larson