GREAT FALLS — On Saturday, August 27, 2022, the Patriot Guard of Montana donated $2,100 to the Grace Home Veterans Center in Great Falls.
“The Grace Home, it's a great transition area for veterans,” said Rick English, an Air Force veteran and assistant captain for the Patriot Guard of Montana. “They come back and have post-traumatic stress syndrome. They can go to those places and get counseling and be around other veterans that have suffered the same and slowly rebuild themselves back into society.”
Additional donations included a shadow box encasing the 13 folds of the United States flag and other military trinkets that add value to what the center stands for.
Mark Daniels is a retired U.S. Army Ranger and a resident inside the Grace Home. He was once homeless, but with the help of the VA and Grace Home, he now has stability in his life.
“I didn't have a whole lot of money when I came in here. And to get these donations and get the clothing that I've had to help me and stuff means a lot. And because of that, it makes me want to do more things in my community and help other people out, too.”
Jim Cherney, Captain of the Patriot Guard of Montana, said as he presented the donation check: “We would love to present you with this check and this coin because you guys need to keep your lights on and keep running and keep operations.”
The money raised came from a yearly fundraiser event the Guard holds. They pick one recipient annually based on its values that follow the group's values: to support the families of fallen service members, military veterans, and the lives of first responders.
“If we can help them with what they're doing for these veterans, you know, absolutely. It's well worth it. It just it makes you feel good,” said Cherney, who is a civilian who wants to support those who served.
Ray Parker is the House Manager at Grace Home; he’s been a philanthropist all his life, explaining that he has a heart for people.
“These guys served our country. What shouldn't we do for them? We should do everything in our power to help them to be a productive human being outside in the world.”
During the summer the Patriot Guard of Montana travels on their motorcycles bearing the organization flag, and the red, white, and blue. During the winter, many travel in convoys of trucks.
English wanted to share an additional message to those on the road this year amid the rising number of motorcycle accidents and deaths in Montana: "There’s a lot of bikers out on the streets. Please, keep an eye out for them.”
Grace Home is at 2211 5th Avenue North; click here to visit the website.
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