Stories of Honor: Korean War veteran Jim Heffernan started local Toys for Tots

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Marine Cpl. Jim Heffernan at Incheon prior to leaving Korea, 1955.

U.S. Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Jim Heffernan, retirement day, 1978.

CURT SYNNESS For the Independent Record

HELENA — Jim Heffernan is one of Helena’s most beloved patriots. A volunteer and advocate for nearly everything to do with veterans, he’s probably best known for the local Marine’s Christmas “Toys For Tots” program, which he first organized in 1978.

And it all started almost 70 years ago, when Heffernan decided to answer the call U.S. Marine Corps Capt. William Jones made in 1779, “For a Few Good Men.”

Heffernan graduated from Campion Jesuit High School, in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, in 1953. He started college at St. Joseph’s College, Rensselaer, Indiana, before

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