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BMO Launches Walls of Support and Announces $50,000 Contribution to "Support Our Troops Program"

OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 05/02/14 -- BMO Financial Group today announced that it is contributing $50,000 to the Support Our Troops Program and launching Walls of Support to commemorate the upcoming Soldier On Afghanistan Relay.

The announcement was made today in Ottawa at an event attended by Canada's Minister of National Defence, the Honourable Robert Nicholson. The $50,000 contribution was made in support of valuable programs and services designed to meet the diverse needs of the military community that serves in Canada and abroad, plus veterans and their families. At 17 BMO branches in towns and cities along the Soldier On Afghanistan Relay route from Trenton to Ottawa, Canadians are encouraged to contribute a message to the Walls of Support by writing a message to those who served in Afghanistan and their families. The messages from all 17 boards will be collected and sent to the Department of National Defence.

The Soldier On Afghanistan Relay will take place May 4-9 from Trenton to Ottawa. Canadians who suffered an illness or injury while serving during Canada's contribution to the Afghanistan mission will travel from Canadian Forces Base Trenton to the Afghanistan Commemoration Parade in Ottawa. They will carry the last Canadian flag to have flown at the International Security Assistance Force Headquarters in Kabul. This relay honours Canadian sacrifices and raises awareness of the programs available to ill and injured members returning from serving in Afghanistan. The event will culminate on May 9, 2014, as part of Canada's National Day of Honour for Afghanistan for those who served in Afghanistan.

"The Soldier On Afghanistan Relay exemplifies the strength and resilience of our military members and veterans and I am inspired and humbled by the team's determination and courage. I am thankful for BMO's support of our ill and injured members, and I believe that these Walls of Support represent a perfect addition to the spirit of the Relay," said Mr. Nicholson.

"The Support our Troop Program adds another important chapter to BMO's long history of supporting our national defence efforts. As the official bank of the Canadian Defence Community, we are proud of our continued commitment to the women and men who serve our country - and their families," said Sandra Henderson, Senior Vice-President Eastern Ontario Division, BMO Bank of Montreal.

About BMO and the Canadian Defence Community

BMO has a long history of supporting national defence efforts. During the First World War, BMO established temporary branches to pay troops at various encampments throughout Canada, and overseas Canadian men and women in uniform were paid through the bank's Waterloo Place office in London. During the Second World War, BMO's president George Spinney headed the National War Finance Committee, which oversaw the sales of Victory Loan bonds. During the post war years when Canada had forces stationed in Europe, Bank of Montreal branches on the bases provided banking services for Canadian servicemen and -women and their families. BMO Bank of Montreal is the official bank of the Defence Community in partnership with Canadian Defence Community Banking (CDCB). CDCB is specifically designed for the Defence Community and offers cost-effective banking plans with unique features tailored to the military lifestyle and needs. For more information, visit http://www.bmo.com/cdcb.

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