HAMILTON – Montana has one of the highest per capita veteran populations in the U.S. And nearly 25,000 of veterans here in the Treasure State are living in Ravalli County.
On Saturday, Senator Steve Daines heard directly from them on the issues they face with the Veteran’s Administration (VA) in rural areas.
“What I heard here today was the difficulty they have of accessing health care,” Daines told MTN News. “It’s taking far too long, bureaucratic chains, long drives-often on icy roads in Montana— we can do much better and we must do better.”
The Community Veteran Center in Ravalli County is run by veterans, a model Daines said should be carried out in the rest of the state.
Other topics included transportation problems, unnecessary required travel, and suggestions to utilize telecommunication in veteran’s health care.
When asked about President Trump’s recent remarks regarding late Senator and veteran John McCain, Daines said he was thankful for McCain’s service. Daines did not directly criticize the president.
“Well I’ll say this, I served with Senator McCain, he’s a great American, he’s a great American hero. I am grateful for his service to our country,” Daines said.
The Senate-backed Mission Act will be fully implemented in June and aims to address VA concerns.
-Reported by Katie Miller/MTN News