NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A decade of fighting has claimed the lives of 135 service men and women who called Tennessee home, and the state's smaller communities have been some of the hardest hit.
Two-thirds of those killed hailed from towns of fewer than 50,000 residents, and half of them came from communities of fewer than 25,000 people.
The neighbors of those killed or wounded in Afghanistan and Iraq have found ways to recognize their hometown heroes. They've held a silent tribute of waving flags for a grieving family, provided a warm welcome to grievously injured veterans and helped solidify Tennessee's reputation as the Volunteer State.
With over a half million veterans living in Tennessee, the state's veterans affairs commissioner, says that support will continue to be essential for years to come.
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