Tester Announces $355,500 Grant to Keep Aging Veterans Living Independently in Eastern Montana

Senator: We Must Uphold Our Commitment to Montana's Veterans

(Butte, Mont.)-Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Jon Tester today announced a $355,500 grant to the organization “Action for Eastern Montana” to ensure local veterans can remain independent and stay in their own homes as they age.

The grant announced by Tester will help train and deploy 35 volunteers to help aging veterans in eastern Montana with daily tasks to ensure they can remain independent and spend their retirement years in their own homes.

“Eastern Montana is home to thousands of veterans who answered the call to serve our country,” Tester said. “Now we must uphold our commitment to them. These resources will help aging veterans remain at home rather than force them to live in costly senior facilities.”

The grant is administered jointly though AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and the Veterans Health Administration’s Choose Home Initiative. Volunteers will be trained to serve seniors in Valley, Sheridan, Richland, Dawson, and Rosebud Counties, as well as on the Fort Peck and Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservations. Most of the volunteers will also be veterans.

Action for Eastern Montana is a non-profit organization in Glendive that “promotes education, advocacy, and dignity for achieving independence” in eastern Montana.

As Ranking Member, Tester has drafted 11 veterans bills this Congress that have been signed into law by President Trump. Tester is also using his seat on the Senate Appropriations Committee to fight for more funding for the Corporation for National and Community Service, which helps funds grants like the one going to the Glendive.

Tester most notably authored the VA MISSION Act to cut government red tape and make it easier for veterans in rural areas to see a doctor in their community when wait times at the VA are too long.

Tester is also pushing to increase access to benefits for aging Vietnam veterans, known as “Blue Water Navy Veterans,” who served off the coast of Vietnam during the war and were exposed to toxic chemicals like Agent Orange.

If veterans in eastern Montana are experiencing difficulties accessing their benefits with the VA, they are encouraged to contact Tester’s office in Glendive at 406-365-2391.