Veterans office receives community support


December 5, 2019

Sanders County Commissioners recently received an update on the status of Joint Operation Mariposa’s efforts to develop a Veteran Service Office (VSO) locally.

“We have received letters of support for our endeavor,” Foste said, which brings him and David Williams one step closer to accomplishing their goal of obtaining the $15,000 to $20,000 required to start up the facility. Although he could not comment on the exact grants Joint Operation Mariposa was applying for, he did say there are more than one of interest. In order to apply for these grants, they must first provide letters of support and determine costs and needs.

Although nothing has been secured yet, the duo is considering an offer to occupy a building in Thompson Falls, according to Foste. They are also receiving bids from Big Sky Network to determine costs for security systems and computer software startups.

“This is something we really need here in the area,” Foste said. He continued explaining that House Bill 172 asks for support in providing increased location availability for veterans to receive the services they earned while serving our country. “Every county can have one of these,” Foste added.

Services expected to be offered two to three days a week at the county VSO include claim evaluations, pensions and war burial benefits. Although no direct medical services will be available, they are exploring telemedicine services. These services alone could save veterans multiple trips to Missoula, Kalispell and Helena for appointments.

Foste and Williams developed Joint Operation Mariposa, a nonprofit organization in Sanders County, to provide support for veterans adapting to post-military life. The organization is always looking for support and volunteers. For more information contact Williams at (406) 826-2345 or write Joint Operation Mariposa, P.O. Box 261, Plains, MT 59859.


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