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New support for veterans on the Hi-Line

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The Blackfeet Veterans Alliance has been working on adopting the model of the Cascade County Veterans Drug Treatment court so they may offer alternatives to jail for veterans struggling with addictions and live on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation.

We spoke with the coordinator for the BVA Marvin Weatherwax. He said the first time he sat in the veterans court here it was extremely emotional.

"I couldn't believe that people were actually helping veterans like that. I saw how much care they had for their veterans and I want to recreate that here," said Weatherwax.

That dream is a few weeks away from coming true.

"Right now we are waiting for the appointment of our judge, Mr. Sam Juneau, is actually from here and a veteran himself," said Weatherwax.

Weatherwax said they could not have done it without the help of Cascade County District Judge Greg Pinski.

He said substance abuse can be a huge problem for some veterans due to experiences during their time of service. 
"Programs like this hopefully will help our veteran get along in society better," said Weatherwax.


He hopes veterans with addiction problems will choose this alternative to jail. Because they get the chance to work on issues like PTSD with people who fully understand what they are facing. He says it will allow these veterans to heal from those experiences. And will turn away from substance abuse.

Andrea Fisher, Veterans Court Coordinator in the Cascade County, the Blackfeet Nation are the only ones so far who have contacted them for help in building this program on a reservation.

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