Fresh from a visit to the Great Falls area on Wednesday, Montana Senator Steve Daines stopped by the KGVO studios early Thursday morning with two of his aides to talk about a variety of issues, the first being his hospital visit with Trooper Wade Palmer in Salt Lake City.

“We were picked up by the Utah Highway Patrol at the airport and escorted to the University of Utah Hospital and had a chance to go in and see Wade,” said Daines. “I was so impressed to see Sergeant Sean Finley and Captain Jim Kitchin from here in Missoula were both there, in fact, Captain Kitchin just drove Lindsey’s car (Trooper Palmer’s wife) down from Montana so she has her own vehicle. Those Utah Highway Patrol said to us that they couldn’t believe the support that Trooper Palmer is receiving from Montanans.”

Daines said he didn’t know what to expect when he entered Palmer’s hospital room.

“I was so pleased to see him respond,” he said. “We fist-bumped and we had a little Cat-Griz banter and just had a great interaction. Trooper Palmer is one of 10 children and two of his sisters were there that night with him, as well.”

Daines also visited a wounded Green Beret from Libby at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, and brought both men into the conversation as he reflected on the Easter weekend to come.

“As we turn the corner towards Easter, I just encourage your listeners to keep the Palmer family in your prayers,” he said. “They both have a long road of recovery ahead, but I was encouraged with the response I got from Lindsey and Trooper Palmer and he’s fighting hard.”

Daines said he also stopped by to see Casey Blanchard at the Salt Lake City hospital, another victim of the road rage shooting on March 15, and was also encouraged by his progress.

Daines met with law enforcement at the Sheriff’s Office later that morning for a round table discussion about the meth crisis and how it is affecting western Montana.