Helena nonprofit hosts Christmas dinner for veterans

Nolan Lister

A Helena-area nonprofit organization hosted more than 100 United States military veterans and their families Thursday evening for a Christmas dinner at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

For the eighth year since the organization’s inception in 2014, Montana Joining Community Forces fed veterans and their families a meal of pork loin and all the fixings. About 50 families were also sent home with a frozen turkey, donated by local Costco employees.

“This is amazing; it’s just so thoughtful,” said Helena resident Alisa Richter, a veteran of the Army and National Guard, who was there with her daughter.

Montana JCF board member Wes Feist said the organization’s goal is to improve the overall health and well-being of service members, veterans and their families by connecting them to resources available within the community.

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Feist said the annual Christmas dinner furthers that goal in one way by bringing the military community together.

“They can catch up with friends and make those connections themselves,” Feist said.

Navy veteran and Helena resident Robert Bakke said it is a cause that is important to him.

“Considering Montana has such a high

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