Guest view: Tester has produced results for Montana and all veterans

by Montana Standard, Mike Lawson

We veterans have fought many battles and continue to fight for the needs of veterans. One of our recent victories, after 10 years, is finally getting the VA to grant the allocated monies to build Montana’s third Rest Home to be located in Butte, Montana to cover SW Montana. I’m a Vietnam two-tour veteran with a Bronze Star and Purple Heart and have a passion for veterans because I am one.

I am forever grateful for those who are advocates that battle along side us and make a difference. In the last 12 years we have had such a person who has listened to the us, the veterans, rolled up his sleeves, went to work and got results like no other before him. I’m talking about that “dirt farmer” Jon Tester, who has made a measurable positive difference on many veteran fronts.

It would make no difference to myself or most veterans whether Jon was a Republican or Democrat. We support him because he is producer concerning the the veteran. Too many of our politicians say one thing but the follow-up doesn’t match-up. Jon was instrumental in making the Veteran’s Home in Butte become a reality and in this Congress had 8 of his veterans bills signed into law.

We complained about the choice program and Jon stepped to the plate to get rid of it and put a better system that works for us the veteran, in its place. We see him constantly take the VA to task concerning abuses, bad management from the top down, shortage of medical professionals etc.. Another thing that is a bright spot for us, the veteran in Montana, is that Jon was instrumental in getting 9 new Veteran Clinics/Veteran Centers across our large land mass state of Montana.

So when I hear our President ask Jon to resign, it is absolutely mind-boggling to me. What this President from the big city of New York doesn’t understand is the people and culture of our rural state of Montana are made up of folks of different political persuasions. We within our culture have a tendency to vote for the person or issue. For example, we presently see the state government branches controlled separately by the two dominant parties. At this point in time is we have a Democratic governor and a Republican Senate and House. We have a tendency to vote for what we feel is the most qualified person.

So for the most part, from the veteran perspective, Jon is a proven Senator who gets thing done, is not afraid to work across the aisle to get support or support bills for the good of Montana and the veteran. I watched his interview where he voiced his concerns for the President’s nominee for the Director of the VA and was thankful he came forward with these concerns. Whoever is chosen has to be above reproach and be highly qualified.

Jon again was doing his job to protect Montana and all veterans across America in the VA Health System.

I like this Montana dirt farmer who represents us as one of our senators, is a veteran advocate and despite all the dark money coming in to try to defeat him is our best choice come November. Montanans are independent thinkers no matter what party they belong to and with that attitude can send Jon Tester back to Washington to represent us as he has done so well these past 12 years.

Enough said and as a Marine I end with “Semper Fi”.

Mike Lawson of Butte is a veteran advocate and works for veterans on a daily basis in his volunteer positions as Commander of Southwest Montana Veterans Council, Commandant of Marine Corps League Det#724, and as a 12-year Disabled American Veterans van driver.