NewsPositively Montana


KRTV hosts annual 'Angels In Camo'

KRTV hosts annual 'Angels In Camo'
KRTV hosts annual 'Angels In Camo'
KRTV hosts annual 'Angels In Camo'
Posted at 9:15 AM, Dec 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-17 11:23:37-05

GREAT FALLS — KRTV hosted its annual ‘Angels in Camo’ event on Friday, December 16, 2022, at the VFW on 10th Avenue South in Great Falls.

For the past 13 years, ‘Angels in Camo’ has provided veterans with a hot meal and gifts so that all can experience Christmas.

"People ask, what is your program about? It's about helping veterans that need help. Not all are homeless, maybe they just had a bad year,” said Connie Walter, the leader of the annual event. “And this year, I have five veterans that I have helped in the past that are now sponsors. They have stepped up and they're sponsoring families. We are local. These are veterans that are in our town."

Angels In Camo was the recipient of a $2,500 grant courtesy of the Scripps Howard Foundation. The proceeds helped to fulfill the wishlist for veterans, along with generous donations from community members.

"All that money is used to fulfill some of their wish lists, and the wish list that the veterans have are very basic. They want winter coats, winter boots. Some of them want cleaning supplies, a mop,” says Walter.

The event began thirteen years ago, the brainchild between former KRTV anchor Ashley Korslien and Connie, who worked as KRTV’s business manager at the time.

Ashley Korslien

While out covering a story at the Great Falls Rescue Mission, Korslien realized many of the homeless there were veterans, and she had her lightbulb moment.

She says the first year they were hoping to just receive enough clothing to help out a couple of veterans in need, but the outpouring of help surpassed even her highest hopes.

"First year was absolutely stunning to see the outpouring of support from the community. I mean, we thought we would get a few clothing items, maybe gloves and warm boots. We had local businesses donating washers and dryers to furniture. We had clothing. We had toys for vets who had children or grandchildren,” says Korslien.

KRTV hosts annual 'Angels In Camo'
KRTV hosts annual 'Angels In Camo'

Since then, the event has taken on a life of its own and has become a signature staple in the Great Falls community. Ashley now works as an anchor in Portland, Oregon, while Connie continues to support the grassroots effort back home in Montana. The two still keep in touch frequently.

"Connie and I have stayed in touch. We're really close. She's like a second mom to me to this day, and she's an absolute angel. When you talk about Angels in Camo. Connie is the angel in that title. She kept this whole thing going,” says Korslien, with a bright smile.