The city of Bozeman
Bozeman, Montana was a centre of biotechnology in the first half of the 21st century. During the second bank-crash in 2022 and the following bankruptcy of the United States, most of the companies located in Bozeman moved to Europe or the east-coast, causing a huge drop in population numbers to about 17.200 and a rise of unemployment to above 35%. All those who were able to would move to the bigger cities were Sanctuary Districts promised the chance to feed families and help.
In 2030, the United States Air Force Global Defence Command ordered the conversion of the before-closed Bozeman-Yellowstone Airport into an air force base as part of the US American restructuring of their military. A number of launch sites for intermediate-range ballistic missiles was constructed there. They would later become famous as the place where the Phoenix was built and launched.
The military was able to provide the local economy with some stability but until the war broke out in 2050 the city was not able to press unemployment rates below 16%.
In 2050, Mexican troops invaded the United States. While the Eastern States quickly fell victim to a fast and well-prepared campaign, the western states managed to fight off the first strike.
The Bozeman defence base used all of their missiles to attack targets in Arizona. The air wing was able to give support to the carrier squadrons from the Enterprise when the carrier arrived at San Francisco in December 2050.
Apart from that Bozeman did not see any war until the end in 2053. After the cease fire had been declared, all military units abandoned the city and the missile complex, giving full control of the now emptied launch sites to a private facility management contractor named Sloane.
By that time, more than 30 % of the remaining Bozeman population had moved away from the old city centre towards the launch site. A part of them felt safer with the military but most of the citizens just feared that bigger settlements would be ideal targets for missiles or bomber attacks.
As the settlements were not sanctioned or organized by any national authority they established a grassroots democracy. While the western states had managed to stay relatively intact in terms of infrastructure during the World War the economy had suffered. The state of Montana was on its knees, too. Only the cities of Helena and Billings received notable financial support, causing another rise in unemployment and emigration for the remaining cities. From 2052 to 2060, over 8000 citizens formed small and independent settlements that grew their own food and traded supplies and know-how for fuel, energy, weapons and medical supplies with each other.
Although the central governments of the respective states had the means to enforce laws and regulations during the whole time, there was little interest to deal with domestic affairs of that magnitude as the political restructuring process of the continent threatened to reduce the former USA to a couple of third-world countries.