The Southwest Montana Regional Veterans Home is going to happen, and fast.
With the awarding of a contract to Markovich Construction this past week, and a signed memorandum of understanding between the state and the feds, all the roadblocks are finally cleared away.
A project that should have been funded and built years ago is set for a groundbreaking as early as next month.
So many people have contributed to the eventual success of this project, starting with the late Don Harrington, who donated the land, and Bob Pavlovich – veteran, former state legislator, and tireless advocate. Butte’s heartfelt thanks should also go to its entire legislative and congressional delegation, but particularly to Jon Sesso and Jim Keane, who have worked for a decade at the state level on the project, and to Sen. Jon Tester, who used his clout as ranking Democrat on the Veterans Affairs Committee last session to ram the project home. Presented with the fact that more than 50 veterans-home projects outranked Butte’s on the VA’s priority list, Tester responded by simply pushing funding for all of them – on the valid premise that veterans across the country needed the facilities every bit as much as did the veterans here.
Sen. Steve Daines also worked hard for the project, and his status as a majority member meant that support was also significant.
Turning the home into a reality means jobs – and it also means many veterans, who served our country so bravely and deserve this facility so much, will actually be able to take advantage of it for a long time to come.
Politics is about outcomes, or should be – and this one is a huge win for Montana, for Butte and most importantly for our veterans.