The Montana Veterans Administration is gearing up this November to focus on Service members and their families. VA Public Affairs Spokesman Patrick Hutchinson explains.

“In November, we are celebrating National Veterans and Military Families Month,” Hutchinson said. “We did this last year and we are going to do it again this year because we really want to put extra emphasis throughout the entire month for veterans, military and their entire family. VA wide there are a ton of stuff like open houses, town halls, benefits, claims clinics, volunteer recognition and faith based community events. There is so much going on.”

Health and wellness are a major focus throughout the month. One key aspect will be the Great American Smokeout held at all VA clinics on November 15.

“We pick up the habit in the service, I know I did, and when you get out you have to stay healthy,” Hutchinson said. “The Great American Smokeout is tobacco cessation. VA has developed apps for smoking cessation. We also have a great thing called the move program. It is not just for tobacco cessation it is just kind of a whole health program and you do it with your buddy.”

At the end of the month, the VA will hold a State of the VA presentation, where the agency will discuss improvements, successes and difficulties of VA care in Montana.

Below is the calendar of events scheduled so far:

  • Day of Prayer – November 1, 2018 – Fort Harrison, MT
  • Benefits Claims Clinic – November 8, 2018 – Fort Harrison, MT
  • 211/Mayor’s Challenge Press Conference – November 9, 2018 – Billings, MT
  • MSU Billings Veterans Day Ceremony – November 11, 2018 – Billings, MT
  • Great American Smokeout – November 15, 2018 – Statewide
  • State of the Montana VA Health Care System – November 27, 2018 – Helena, MT