Tester announces new Veterans Centers for Great Falls, Kalispell

Senator’s request for new centers approved by VA

(BELGRADE, Mont.) – The U.S. Veterans Administration has approved two requests by Senator Jon Tester to open new Vet Centers in Great Falls and Kalispell, Tester announced today.

Tester made the requests, along with Montana’s Lieutenant Governor John Bohlinger, in a face-to-face meeting with Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki. 

“This is great news for Montana’s veterans,” said Tester, Montana’s only member of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee.  “These new Vet Centers will help veterans in Great Falls, Kalispell and surrounding communities access valuable and vital services closer to home."

Vet Centers provide readjustment counseling, mental health screening, assistance with disability claims, and other services to combat veterans.  Centers also conduct community outreach on family and employment issues and provide bereavement counseling for families of service members killed on active duty.

Tester is the author of the Rural Veterans Health Care Improvement Act, which would improve care for the more than 100,000 veterans living in Montana.  Tester’s bill would improve mental health services for veterans, provide grants for innovative programs that improve health care for rural veterans, and lock in the current travel reimbursement for disabled veterans, secured by Tester.  The bill has cleared the Veterans’ Affairs Committee and is awaiting a vote by the full Senate.