Two Lewis and Clark County veterans were honored for their contributions to the Montana community Wednesday morning.
Steven Garrison and Dan LaFramboise were commended by Montana Rep. Greg Gianforte at the American Legion Post 2 in a ceremony that allowed both men to be acknowledged to the community at large.
Garrison, a former Army lawyer, logistician and 30-year veteran, has spent a considerable amount of time offering legal help to Helena-area veterans. The co-chairman of the Montana Joining Community Forces nonprofit, Garrison said much of his work involves connecting veterans and their families with services.
"There's an awful lot of services out there," Garrison said. "But most veterans haven't got a clue about them."
Garrison said that for many of the men and women who served in the military, asking for help is a difficult task.
"You gotta find them," Garrison said.
And when Garrison does find them in difficult situations, he can provide free legal support. "I've got my lawyer ticket to do free legal work, almost exclusively with veterans," Garrison said.
LaFramboise, a longtime Wolf Creek resident and member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, served in Korea as a U.S. Marine before coming back to Montana where he became part of the law enforcement community.
LaFramboise was both a Highway Patrol trooper and Lewis and Clark County deputy, but his biggest impact may be his years of bringing harvested bison meat to needy families all up and down the Interstate 15 corridor.
"Between Helena and Great Falls, I had 35 families that I was furnishing meat for," LaFramboise said. LaFramboise said he had first gotten into the work through the Helena Indian Alliance and would go down to Yellowstone National Park to butcher the buffalo he would then provide to people around Helena and Great Falls, but also in the Rocky Boy's Reservation.
Rep. Gianforte read the same speech he had placed into the Congressional record, commending the two men for their work as both veterans and community members, and thanked them again for their work.
"Keep serving as you have," Garrison told the crowd. "You folks are eminently qualified to make that assistance and succeed in it."
"I second whatever he said," LaFramboise said.