©2018 by Veteran Support Network (VSN) Missoula Region. Proudly created with Wix.com



​​****** 3-Volley Salute VOLUNTEERS NEEDED for Military Funerals ******

Active-duty military and Veterans with an honorable discharge are rendered last honors when they die. In Missoula, the local VFW Post 209 Honor Guard does the three-volley salute (They have six funerals in 3 days this week alone); however, you do NOT have to be a member of the VFW to be on the Honor Guard and you can pick which funerals fit your schedule. Providing the three-volley salute is an all-volunteer effort; however, the VFW Post 209 will provide the M1 rifles, blanks, white dicky, patches, name tag, Garrison hat, white web belt / gloves, and jacket for winter months (You only need to have blue slacks, white shirt, and black shoes). Please help us honor fellow Veterans, service members, and their families. 

Contact (All military branches / areas are welcome to contact her with questions): (719) 661-4037, bluemountain@montana.com

****** AARP Honoring Heroes Contest ******

Help us raise awareness of AARP’s commitment to veterans through the Create the Good Honoring Heroes Contest. This CTG effort, which runs from Nov 11 - Dec 31, 2019, solicits stories about the good work of organizations serving veterans - and veterans themselves - to shine a spotlight on their efforts. It is also a great way to build relationships with veterans organizations in your communities.

Key Dates: Submission and PUBLIC VOTING period: Nov 11 – Dec 31, 2019; Winner selection by team of AARP volunteer judges: Jan 1 - 10, 2020; Winner announced: Jan 20, 2020 (pending verification)

Contest Description: The Create the Good Honoring Heroes Contest invites the general public to submit a photo (no larger than 5 MB) and essay (of 500 words or less) describing:  The impact of a 501(c)3 serving veterans has had on the community; The difference a veteran has made in the submitter's life; or The impact the submitter has seen (firsthand) of a military training or deployment; An individual can submit multiple photo essays during the submission period, but no more than one per day; The public will select the top 10 finalists; The winner will be selected from those finalists by a panel of AARP volunteer judges.

Prize: $5,000!; If the winner is the story of a veteran community service project, the prize is a $5,000 donation to that project; If it is an account of the difference a veteran made in the submitter's life, the $5,000 that can be claimed solely by the writer or shared with the featured veteran; If it is the firsthand account of a deployment or training, the $5,000 is received by the submitter.

Judging Criteria: Judges will evaluate submissions based on an application of the following criteria equally: impact of service (1/3), quality of submission (1/3), and relevance of submission (1/3).

Staff and Volunteer Participation: Staff cannot enter, but are welcome to vote and to spread the word about the contest; Volunteers are welcome to enter, vote and/or spread the word.

ENTER NOW: https://volunteeroutreach.aarp.org/HonoringHeroes/contest/details/36307

Questions: Carol Ricks (202) 434-6038, cricks@aarp.org

****** Dave Williams ~ Win one of his Paintings ******

Dave is a National Archive Artist, soon-to-be Smithsonian Artist, Navy Veteran, and Founder of Joint Operation Mariposa. Tickets are $10 each or $6 for $50; Winner will be drawn on 12/16 and all proceeds go to JOM and funding for a columbarium in Plains, alternative burial for Veterans, offered free of charge. Frame donated by Frame of Mind in Missoula

Questions: David Williams, Joint Operation Mariposa (406) 546-4827, jointoperationmariposa@outlook.com

****** Give an American Hero a Christmas to Remember! ******

A Perfect Montana Christmas for a perfect Montana Hero. 94-3 The Ride and 107 The Ranch are teaming up with Wildlife Adventures Guest Ranch in Victor to provide a Montana Veteran and their family with a “Perfect Montana Christmas.” Nominate a Veteran who you think deserves to win this Perfect Montana Christmas!

Western Rockies Radios will be running the contest and giving a local Veteran and family a 5 day, 4 night stay (December 22 – 26). They will have nomination boxes at the VA Office in both Missoula and Hamilton, as well as the Chamber of Commerce in Hamilton. We ask our community to stop in these locations to nominate a local Veteran that they would benefit from this giveaway. The drawing will be held the second week in December. It will be a juried decision by a team of Western Rockies Radio employees and their participating sponsors.

Accommodations (Wildlife Adventures Guest Ranch): https://wildlife-adventures-guest-ranch.business.site/

Nominate your Veteran online at 94.3 The Ride: https://www.943theride.com

Or, 107.5 The Ranch: https://www.kdxttheranch.com

Or, email (Subject: “Nomination for Veteran Christmas”) to Scott.westernrockiesradio@gmail.com

Questions: Mariya Moore (406) 369-4180

****** Heroes Therapeutic Outreach Program (HTOP) at The Learning Center at Red Willow ******

We are excited to announce that we will be launching a Double Your Impact Campaign to support the Heroes Therapeutic Outreach Program. It will be a 30-day campaign kicking off November 1 with a campaign goal of $20,000. Stay tuned as we begin announce generous match donors who have already committed to support the campaign.

Through our Heroes Therapeutic Outreach Program (HTOP), we make all of our courses available free of charge to Veterans and Active Duty Military Personnel, their Families and Caregivers, and First Responders.

INFO / WAIVER: https://www.redwillowlearning.org/sliding-fees-scholarships/

Questions: LCRW, 825 W. Kent Ave., Missoula, (406) 721-0033, info@redwillowlearning.org

Or, Roy Savage, HTOP Program Manager, (406) 544-7149, savagefitenterprises@outlook.com

****** Historical Museum at Fort Missoula (HMFM) Exhibits ******

****** Save the oldest known Willamette Steam Engine: Join the Historical Museum & your community as we come together to save the oldest known Willamette Steam Engine in the nation! Why is Missoula’s Engine #7 Unique?

·     Oldest known surviving Willamette Locomotive in the Nation.

·     Spent its life in our mountains and valleys, never traveling more than 80 miles from Missoula.

·     Hollywood Movie Star when it played a leading role in the 1954 Timber Jack!

·     Only Willamette originally built to burn coal as a fuel.

·     The ONLY locomotive left from Western Lumber Co.

·     One of two surviving locomotives from Anaconda Lumber Co. and the only one in Montana.

·     This Engine represents a once bustling industry that shaped Missoula and Western Montana.

DONATE: https://fortmissoulamuseum.org/support/save-the-train/

Or, send a check to the HMFM, 3400 Captain Rawn Way, Missoula, MT 59804

Questions: Historical Museum at Fort Missoula (HMFM), (406) 728-3476, ftmslamuseum@montana.com

****** Exhibit on display NOW through April 19, 2020: Odyssey of Montana's Thomas Meagher, Historical Museum at Fort Missoula (HMFM), 3400 Captain Rawn Way, Missoula. To describe Meagher’s life-journey as an odyssey is not an exaggeration. Like the legendary Odysseus, he was blown by the winds of war and fate to the four corners of the earth. This exhibit blends the line between art and history through Glueckert’s 24 colorful vignettes filled with the celestial, earthly, and man-made symbols that governed Meagher’s life and historical content about this favorite adopted son of Montana.

Questions: Kristjana Eyjolfsson, HMFM Education Director & Public Programming, (406) 258-3473, keyjolfsson@missoulacounty.us

Or, Historical Museum at Fort Missoula: (406) 728-3476, ftmslamuseum@montana.com

​****** Display through July 2020: No Enemy Movement Observed: The Vietnam War Through the Eyes of a Frenchtown Marine, The Historical Museum at Fort Missoula, 3400 Captain Rawn Way, Msla

 “No Enemy Movement Observed: The Vietnam War Through the Eyes of a Frenchtown Marine” is an exhibit of Vietnam War era photographs and artifacts donated to the HMFM by Leon Howard of Frenchtown, MT. Leon served as a Marine Corps Scout during a thirteen-month tour in Vietnam from 1966-1967. Featured in the exhibit are a selection of 45 photographs from the almost 200 donated, enlarged from their original snapshot size, including:

  • Views of the South Vietnamese countryside.

  • Combat operations with tanks and amphibious assault vehicles.

  • South Vietnamese people in villages, markets, and rice fields.

  • Leon and fellow Marines in different areas of operation.

In addition, a range of artifacts Leon brought back from the war enhance the experience, including:

  • Personal items such as uniforms, medals and campaign ribbons.

  • Scouting logs and other documents.

  • Artifacts captured from the Viet Cong such as clothing, hand grenades, and punji sticks.

The exhibit tells the story of a twenty-year-old man removed from his middle-class California setting, trained to be a “basically qualified Marine,” and placed in combat half a world away. It will also highlight key moments related to this divisive time in Missoula, especially the 1966 Peace March and the city’s ongoing role in the Peace Movement, Senator Mike Mansfield’s fact-finding trip to South Vietnam in 1962 at John F. Kennedy’s request, and the human toll of the war on Montana’s Homefront.

Questions: Jessie Rogers (406) 258-3479, jrogers@missoulacounty.us

Or, Carolyn Thompson, HMFM, (406) 258-3478, cthompson@missoulacounty.us

****** Ole Beck VFW Post 209, Missoula ~ Firearms Raffle ******

Let All Your Friends know & help support our benefits. Thanks for your awesome support!!!

Buy tickets: https://www.vfwpost209.org/ or visit the VFW, 245 W. Main St., Missoula

Or, call Jim (406) 240-9742 (flyer: 240-9268)

****** PLAN BEE RAFFLE ******

Plan Bee is a free bee keeping program for Veterans who raises money from the sale of honey, candles, and a precision instrument raffle each year... Honey, candles, and raffle tickets may be purchased at Westland Seed in Ronan. Battle Worn Flag Cerakote, 6.5 Caliber Creedmore. Only 600 tickets will be sold ($10.00 per ticket)


1. Send a check for the amount of the number of tickets that you would like along with a self-addressed stamped envelope to: Plan Bee, 33291 North Crow Rd., Ronan, MT 59864
2. Catch Chuck Lewis standing in front of one of the Mission Valley supermarkets on Fridays! (10/4: Harvest Family Foods)

Questions: Chuck Lewis, Plan Bee (USMC 70-74 & Navy 80-88), Montana Honor Guard, Walking for the Fallen (406) 270-5735, montana.honorguard@hotmail.com or PM on FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/montanahonor.guard

****** Missoula Merry Market ~ Fresh Life Church ******

The reality of the holiday season is that not every family gets to experience a happy one. The Merry Market was born from a community with a heart to come alongside these families and be a part of them having a beautiful, memorable, Christmas! Partnership with children centered organizations allows us to identify and invite these families to our free Market! Local organizations and businesses rally together to provide: gifts, gift wrapping, live music, a Christmas photo wall, family activities, free childcare, and more!

VOLUNTEER OR DONATE: https://merry.market/

Questions: Ross Cox, Fresh Life Church, (817) 879-4431, rosscox@freshlife.church

****** SANTA SOCKS ******

“Santa Socks is a Christmas and New Year program begun by veterans and veteran supporters to bring cheer and honor to veterans of all ages throughout the Missoula and Ravalli County areas of Western Montana. Over the years, the Santa Socks given to veterans also brings cheer, comfort, and happiness to the families of veterans, too, and tiny plastic soldiers and die-cast medal race cars sometimes become toys for grandchildren or children of veterans, who play with the young children.

Each veteran receiving a Santa Sock receives a new pair of large crew-length socks of any color, but most veterans prefer black or white, although other colors are always appreciated, especially by female veterans. Inside one sock are toilet articles from area hotels, chocolate candies, small plastic soldiers, medal race cars, unsharpened pencils, a knitted cap made by area volunteers, and whatever else fits in one crew sock. The other crew sock is used as the “plug” to keep all the goodies inside. Each veteran is given a Santa Sock and a handmade Christmas card made by a child from Russell Elementary or Washington Middle School in Missoula and from all the “magical elves” that sign a love note listing the donors. Large crew-length socks of any color can be donated. Call the North Pole for drop off points or create your own drop-off point by December 1.

Between mid-December and mid-January, “magical elves” personally deliver Santa Socks to veterans in private homes, local businesses, nursing homes, homeless shelters, independent living and assisted living apartments, hospitals, veteran clinics, and around towns wherever veterans live and work to thank veterans for their service and to tell them they are loved and appreciated. The magical elves are members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, United States of Hope, American Legion, their auxiliaries, Daughters of the American Revolution, Martha’s Ministries, Wraps for Vets, Girl and Boy Scouts, Missoula Civil Air Patrol, ROTC members from the University of Montana, and anyone wishing to help deliver Santa Socks. The magical elves spend time shaking veterans’ hands and talking to them about their military experiences. Every visit concludes with the singing of favorite Christmas carols and Santa Claus himself comes from the North Pole to join the magical elves one weekend during the delivery schedule. Santa Claus is an Iraq and Vietnam veteran.

All donations must be received by December 1, so Santa Claus and his faithful assistants can do the shopping for what goes down inside the Santa Socks. The Santa Socks Program began in 2008 with 100 veterans and in 2018 grew to a delivery of 767 veterans. In 2019, Santa Socks may grow to more than 1,000, depending upon cash and in-kind donations received for Missoula and Ravalli Counties.

Delivery is especially energetic so volunteer magical elves are ALWAYS needed. If you can donate time to help with delivery, please contact the North Pole at 719-661-4037 or email Santa Baby at bluemountain@montana.com. The big delivery is Dec. 13 to 15 but full delivery goes through Christmas Day and beyond wherever a veteran is located.

Santa Claus this year is from the United States of Hope and an Iraq veteran!!! Ho Ho Ho.

To make a cash donation to Santa Socks, send a check to United States of Hope, Attention SANTA SOCKS, 91 Campus Drive, PMB 2407, Missoula, MT 59801.”

Questions: Santa Baby at the North Pole (Susan), (719) 661-4037, bluemountain@montana.com

 ****** Savage Gear Fitness Apparel (Veteran Owned Business) ******

We at Savage Gear Fitness Apparel want to thank you all for your support. For the entire month of December everything is 50% off. Simply enter discount code Fall2019 for instant savings. https://www.facebook.com/events/2538275909784046/

Questions: Roy Savage, HTOP Program Manager, (406) 544-7149, savagefitenterprises@outlook.com

****** The VSN's 7th Annual Heroes at Home BBQ & Music Festival in partnership w/the 5th Annual Veteran Suicide Awareness & Prevention (VSAP) RUCK / RUN / WALK, Fort Missoula Regional Park ******

SAVE the DATE: May 2nd, 2020

Since we need to have it before UM graduation (5/9), Erick reserved the Bella Vista Pavilion for May 2nd

​DONATIONS for the BBQ, silent auction, etc.: UVC Heroes at Home BBQ Account: EIN# 81-6016498 (Contact John below)


At the 9/19 VSP Meeting, we decided to (TENTATIVELY) add a CAR SHOW which may be located in one of the grass / dirt fields behind RMMMH or HMFM.

At the 9/20 PEC event, Rick (Montana Army National Guard Recruiting) offered to bring the large Army tents & tanks to display at RMMMH ~ Thanks, Rick!

Questions - VSN Leadership & Events CMTE:

Anton - Event Logistics (Missoula Vet Center, Xsports4Vets & VFW Commander), (406) 721-4918 or (406) 396-8390, Anton.Johnson@va.gov

Erick - VSAP Coordinator (Missoula Vet Center & American Legion Post 27), (406) 721-4918 or (406) 224-3334, Erick.Kahila@va.gov

John - UVC Treasurer (American Legion Post 27 Commander & United Veterans Council of Missoula & Ravalli Counties), (406) 544-2583, johnsangwin@hotmail.com

Judy - VSN Volunteer Coordinator (Missoula Aging Services Senior Corps Program / RSVP), (406) 728-7682, jdouglas@missoulaagingservices.org

Rebecca - Silent Auction & VSN Spokeswoman (Missoula Housing Authority, IAWP & AL Post 27 / ALA Unit 27), (406) 549-4113, ext. 106, rstancil@missoulahousing.org

Senta - ALA Unit 27 President & Costco Marketing, (406) 523-9993

Shannon - Veteran Service Providers (Job Service DVOP & AL Post 27 / ALA Unit 27), snoble@mt.gov


(If you’re business / organization is not listed, please let us know):

·         2M Company via Laurie @Job Service (16 oz. Stainless Steel Tumblers (x6)  

·         AARP Montana ($1K BBQ Sponsor and VSP)

·         Advanced Therapeutic Massage Clinic (2 Gift Certs for 1 Hour Massages)

·         Albertson’s – South Hills (In kind: 500 hot dog buns + hamburger buns)

·         Albertson’s – Trempers (In kind: lettuce, tomato, onions)

·         American Legion Auxiliary Unit 27 (Plastic eggs + book, “Farmer Dale’s Red Pickup Truck” w/animals)

·         American Legion Post 27 (Food Area + AL Train + 2 Etch a Sketch)

·         AM Scott, Author (Gift Basket, Sci Books 1-4)

·         Anonymous (EOTECH XPS2-0 Holographic Weapons Sight)

·         Baskin Robbins (Vendor Donates % of Profits)

·         Buffalo Wild Wings (4 Gift Certs, $10 each + BBQ Sauces

·         Cheerful Quilts (3 Baby Quilts from Maria Tavy Umhey

·         Cherry Creek Radio (Air Time)

·         Christina Bailey, Veteran (500 Easter Eggs filled w/toys & stickers)

·         Costco (Chips, cookies, 10 cases water, VSAP Race Bag Swag, 3 LG Bags of Candy, 2 Easter Baskets)

·         Cracker Barrel ($40 Gift Card, “Dinner for 2”)

·         D.A. Davidson ($50 BBQ Donation)

·         Fuddruckers ($25 Gift Card)

·         Home Depot (Air Compressor)

·         Home Resource (Bird House)

·         Humana / MarketPoint (500 race bags + VSP - Veteran health plan options outside of the VA)

·         Jerry’s Transmissions (1 Transmission or Transfer Case Service)

·         Job Service – Laurie (2M above) and Job Service – DVOP (Eggs, Candy, Prize Booth, 4 Easter Baskets + Monte’s Basket)

·         Les Schwab (Emergency Road Side Kit)

·         Marchesano (US Army Retired) ~ “War Torn” (Rat Fink Custom Chopper, 124 CI, 150 HP – Display)

·         Military-Civilian (Marketing on their website)

·         Missoula Aging Services Senior Companion Coordinator (Race bag swag) & Sr. Corps (RSVP Volunteers)

·         Missoula Bone & Joint (VSAP Sponsor)

·         Missoula Federal Credit Union (BBQ Donor, “Check in the mail” – didn’t make it on program)

·         Missoula Rural Fire Department (Fire Truck)

·         Missoula Vet Center (VSAP Sponsor)

·         Montana ACE (Jumbo Joe 18" Black Charcoal Grill + BBQ Supplies + VSAP Sponsor / Gun Safes at Cost)

·         Montana Central Insurance (2 Cakes + 2 Signed Books by Author Barb Jenkins, “Burying Jane Doe”)

·         Montana Youth Challenge Academy (10 – 15 Volunteers)

·         Murdoch’s (2 Gift Certs)

·         Orange Street Food Farm (Salads)

·         Papa Murphy’s Take n’ Bake (12 FREE Pizzas)

·         Patty Plesure (Red, White & Blue Quilt)

·         PEAK Health & Wellness (1 Mo. Membership + Bag of Goodies + The SPA)

·         Pepsi-Cola of Missoula (Pop & Water)

·         Project Tomorrow Montana (Water table + Out of the Darkness / Race Bag Swag)

·         Ranch Club, The (3 Players, 18 Holes)

·         Ruby’s Café (Gift Cert)

·         Run Wild Missoula (VSAP Sponsor)

·         Senta Sandberg Montana Artist (Painting)

·         Simkins-Hallin Lumber (VSAP Sponsor)

·         Sportsman’s Warehouse (Gift Certs X10 + 75 Coupons for $10 & $30 OFF ~ VSAP Race Bag Swag)

·         Stacked Stone Photography (Photographer)

·         Starbuck’s (6 Cold Cups)

·         Target (Gift Certs X2)

·         TopHouse (Band)

·         Town Square Media (Air time + Live on FB - Newstalk KGVO)

·         UM Department of Social Work (Videographer + Volunteers)

·         UM Golf Course (2 Rounds of Golf)

·         Uptown Optical (VSAP Sponsor)

·         USPS National Association of Letter Carriers (VSAP Sponsor)

·         VFW Post 209 (BBQ & VSAP Sponsor)

·         Wendy Hoiness (Quilt)

·         Westside Lanes ($50 Gift Card)

·         XSports4Vets (Pavilion Donor & VSAP Sponsor)

·         Veteran Service Providers (VSP) – tabled at 2019 event: AARP Montana; Advanced Therapeutic Massage Clinic (Cindy Clippinger, LMT); Alcoholics Anonymous (District 81); American Legion Auxiliary (Unit 27); American Legion Post 27; Animal Human Connection / Artichoke Press (Veteran Owned Business); Bulls Eye Wear ~ Eyecare / eyewear for VA eligible Veterans “VA Care-In-The-Community” (Veteran Owned Business); Dogs on Deployment; Family Assistance Center (FAC) / MTARNG Family Programs; Heroes Therapeutic Outreach Program (HTOP) at Red Willow Learning Center, Inc.; International Association of Workforce Professionals (IAWP); Keller Williams (Homes for Heroes + VSAP water table); Missoula Aging Services Senior Companion Coordinator & Sr. Corps; Missoula Housing Authority; Missoula Veterans Court; Mobile Vet Center; Montana Army National Guard Suicide Prevention Program Manager; Montana Fair Housing; Montana Legal Services Association (MLSA); Project Tomorrow Montana / Out of the Darkness (+ VSAP Water Table); REBOOT Combat Recovery; UM VETS Office; United After Duty; United States of Hope, “VETtogether” (+ Susannah, National Anthem); VA Veterans Experience Office; Veteran Directed Care (VDC) at Missoula Aging Services; Veteran Housing Options (Housing Montana Heroes & Valor House); Veterans Upward Bound; VFW Auxiliary; VFW Post 209 (VSP, Medical Tent + Beer Garden); Volunteers of America; Walmart Supercenter; XSports4Vets; And, the The Historical Museum at Fort Missoula had their Exhibit open “No enemy movement observed,”Vietnam War through the eyes of a Frenchtown Marine, and the Rocky Mountain Museum of Military History did a Civil War Reenactment.



Search Montana: https://www.yellowribbon.mil/event-listing


Employer Registration ~ U.S. Department of Labor HIRE Vets Medallion Program

To recognizes employer efforts to recruit, employ, and retain Veterans!

*** 11/2019 UPDATE: Applications for the 2020 HIRE Vets Medallion Program will open to employers on January 31, 2020. For more information about the HIRE Vets Medallion, or assistance with applying, please visit www.HireVets.gov.

RELEASE: https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/vets/vets20191106

Questions re Press Release: Emily Weeks, (202) 693-4681, weeks.emily.c@dol.gov

​NOTE: The hiring manager that creates the HIREVets account will “hold all the keys” for that registration.

SIGN UP for NEWSLETTER: https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/USDOL/subscriber/new   

Application / Eligibility Questions: Randall Smith (202) 693-4745, HIREVets@dol.gov

Or, VA Veterans Experience Office: Bob, (360) 568-4592, robert.mortenson@va.gov
OR, Montana DLI Vet Program: Dave, (406) 444-1630, dkelly@mt.gov